Local News

In Cumberland County classrooms, small groups will help with contact tracing

Posted July 15, 2020 1:30 p.m. EDT
Updated July 15, 2020 2:28 p.m. EDT

— After months of online learning, parents will soon have the option to send their children back to campus for the new school year. The idea of returning to physical classrooms has some parents – and even teachers – concerned.

Many of the specifics are still being ironed out for the on-campus learning part of Plan B. The clock is ticking to work out the issues. The first day of school, August 17, is just about one month away.

Dr. Jennifer Green, the Cumberland County Health Director, shared some insights on the precautions classrooms will take in Cumberland County schools.

  • Masks are required for students, teachers and staff
  • Social distancing will be practiced
  • Temperatures will be taken when students arrive on campus or before they enter the school bus on the way to school

One major concern centers around young students, who may be asymptomatic, possibly passing the virus on to teachers and staff, who may be more susceptible to becoming gravely ill if exposed.

Dr. Green said schools intend to limit exposure to multiple teachers by limiting class changes.

“So one of the things that is recommended in the plan is to limit the switching of classes. We want to keep people together, so that you’re with one teacher at a time," she said.

Green said this model will also help with contact tracing if a student does test positive for COVID-19.

At that point, a student will be immediately isolated and not allowed to return to school for 10-14 days.

For parents who want a closer look at how their specific school district plans to reopen and what precautions students can expect to see, WRAL has compiled research on each Triangle school district's plan for reopening.

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.