Education

NC school superintendents gathered for a conference, now two people have tested positive for COVID

Posted December 9, 2020 4:09 p.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2020 8:54 p.m. EST

North Carolina's first case was announced Tuesday, March 3, 2020.

— A state association of public school superintendents met last week in Greensboro for an in-person winter conference, and two attendees have tested positive for coronavirus, the group's executive director confirmed Wednesday.

The North Carolina School Superintendents' Association, an advocacy and professional development group, held a multi-day conference last week at the Grandover Resort & Conference Center. The two attendees who tested positive are doing well, and all attendees have been notified, Executive Director Jack Hoke said.

"We followed all the regulations," Hoke said.

Executive orders in place limiting indoor public gatherings to 10 people have a number of exemptions, including for meetings in event spaces, which are limited to 100 people or 30 percent of fire code occupancy, whichever is smaller. Hoke said the group met that restriction and also wore masks, practiced social distancing and didn't hold events beyond the regular meetings.

Those meetings included two keynote speeches and discussions on the group's priorities for the coming year. One of those priorities is dealing with the pandemic.

Hoke said he was aware only of the two cases. The conference ran Wednesday through Friday, and the incubation period for the virus ranges from two to 14 days, with an average time of four to five days before symptoms appear, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Obviously, hindsight is 20/20," Hoke said. "If we had a do-over, we probably would have done virtual."

The association links to a number of pandemic resources on its website, and its Twitter account frequently repeats messages about the virus from Gov. Roy Cooper and state health officials, including the governor beseeching people last month not to gather in numbers.

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