Education

Union County elementary school closes down, goes online after two staff members test positive

Posted August 20, 2020 10:24 a.m. EDT
Updated August 20, 2020 10:56 a.m. EDT

At East Hoke Middle School, the cafeteria has been divided into temporary classrooms with desks spaced six feet apart.

— An elementary school in Union County Public Schools closed down its building after two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus and several staff members were exposed.

Union County Public Schools' Board of Education voted to reopen schools under a hybrid learning model. Schools in the district plan to operate on a 4-week rotation, and students will rotate in and out of schools with social distancing in place. When students are not in school, they will be learning remotely.

Poplin Elementary, in Indian Trail, had to close down just three days after classes began. Students and staff will work and do classes remotely until the school reopens on Sept. 8.

The school district said in a statement that if a student had direct contact with an infected person, "parents will receive a letter from the Union County Public Health Department." A school nurse or a staff with the Union County Public Health Department will also follow up with the family.

Teachers and parents were worried that this would happen. A day before school started, teachers held a "Drive to stay alive" protest.

“We're concerned for ourselves but more than that our duty is always to keep our children safe,” Brittany Gendron, a Union County teacher, told WCNC at the protest.

A new study from the Journal of Pediatrics shows how much of a role children play in spreading the virus. The report suggested that students are "silent spreaders" of the coronavirus.

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital found kids carry high levels of the virus and those who seem healthy may actually be more contagious than sick adults.

This story originally appeared on WCNC.

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