How many details you have about coronavirus in your child's school depends on where you live
Posted November 20, 2020 5:56 p.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2020 6:13 p.m. EST
Cary, N.C. — North Carolina school districts have different policies and procedures when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic, including how much information is provided to parents and the general public about confirmed cases among students and school staff.
Even districts that share a border share very different levels of information on the virus in their schools.
Families looking for information in Johnston County schools have plenty to go through. The district's online dashboard lists, by school, the number of students and staff in quarantine, and in color-coded graphs, the number of confirmed infections is broken down, along with the percentage of students and staff they represent.
Meanwhile, the online dashboard provided by the Wake County Public School System lists only the number of coronavirus cases confirmed by school and, occasionally, if any of the cases could be linked. The cases aren't broken down by students or staff, and there's no information about any quarantines.
Wake County public health officials said they respond to cases linked to public schools only after being notified by the district, but district spokeswoman Lisa Luten said the district has no other information about cases aside from what's on the dashboard.
Johnston County Public Schools spokeswoman Dolores Best Gill said the district and county public health officials collaborate to confirm cases and determine close contacts. The district has made changes to the dashboard over time based on feedback from parents and others, she said.
"It is always the goal of the district to provide parents and stakeholders with accurate and timely information. It is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide comprehensive data to inform decision-making for their child(ren)," Gill said in an email.
Both districts do notify families and potential close contacts when a case is found in a particular school.