Union County Public Schools to follow ‘legal obligations’ to report COVID cases, recognize quarantines of close contacts


MONROE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – The Union County School Board voted 8 to 1 Monday morning to follow its “legal obligations” of reporting positive COVID-19 cases to the local health department and recognize quarantines in accordance with state law.

Last week, the school board voted to stop contact tracing and allowed quarantined students to return to class as long as they were not symptomatic.

Following that vote, North Carolina’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Dr. Mandy Cohen sent a letter to the district insisting they follow the state’s COVID-19 toolkit for public schools or face legal action.

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The toolkit states that isolation is required for all presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID 19 including anyone who has been in close contact with them.

Data from the CDC shows the county is more than five times above the CDC threshold for high transmission with a 16 percent positivity rate.

Under the new policy passed Monday, UCPS said it will continue to follow its legal obligation to report positive cases to the Union County Health Department and will provide “relevant information” to health leaders.

Students who have tested positive or are showing symptoms will be required to stay home.

The school district said it will recognize quarantines in accordance with state law for students and staff who are considered close contacts with a positive case. Board members said the local health department will conduct contact tracing.

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