Coronavirus cases at Wake County schools have tripled since students returned for in-person learning
Posted December 24, 2020 9:27 p.m. EST
Updated December 29, 2020 11:17 a.m. EST
Cary, N.C. — New coronavirus cases have more than tripled at Wake County Public Schools this month, since the district decided to resume in-person learning.
The spike in cases is on track with state and national trends, which have been concerning health officials as more people are ignoring public health guidance on social distancing. More coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations are expected in the coming weeks as millions of Americans are traveling for the holidays.
Students make up the majority of coronavirus cases reported to the Wake County Public School System since the beginning of December.
A total of 164 coronavirus cases were reported among students in Wake County since Dec. 1, according to an analysis of the district's dashboard.
Last Thursday and Friday were the final days of in-person classes in 2020. In the last week of in-person classes, 36 cases were reported among students and 27 staff coronavirus cases were reported.
Staggered cohorts of middle school students returned to the classroom part-time in November. Pre-k through fifth grade students returned to the classroom for full-time instruction, five days a week. A total of 18,000 middle school students returned to classrooms in November in three cohorts of 6,000 students each.
While several schools in the district have reported cases this week, these schools reported more than one student case of the virus:
- Millbrook Magnet High School reported two student cases and two staff cases of the virus
- Oakview Elementary School reported three student cases
- Rolesville High School reported three student cases and one staff case
- Yorkville Elementary School reported two student cases
According to the North Carolina Department of Health, there is one active cluster of coronavirus at Lynn Road Elementary School.
During winter break, school officials said families do not need to notify the school if they have tested positive for coronavirus. Families will resume reporting coronavirus cases to their school on Jan 4.
Education officials voted to keep classes all-remote after winter break to limit the spread of coronavirus after the holidays. Superintendent Cathy Moore said principals have reported a staffing shortage because of teachers being told to quarantine from possible coronavirus exposure.