Grace Christian School reopens after Raleigh parents test negative for coronavirus
Posted March 11, 2020 6:13 a.m. EDT
Updated March 12, 2020 7:57 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — Grace Christian School has resumed normal operations after a set of parents being quarantined over coronavirus tested negative for COVID-19.
The parents were being tested Wednesday and were quarantined at home with their student, who was not experiencing symptoms and was not tested for the virus. The school, located off Buck Jones Road in Raleigh, was closed to all staff and students Wednesday, but classes will resume Thursday.
"We'll be glad to welcome our students back to campus today, and they'll get an exceptionally clean and santitized environment," a spokesperson told WRAL.
At least three private schools in Raleigh say families have been quarantined during the coronavirus outbreak.
Thales Academy Raleigh, a pre-K through 6 school near Triangle Town Center, sent a note to parents Wednesday alerting them that one of the school's parents has tested positive for coronavirus. The school will not close, but activities have been canceled and visitors will be limited for the rest of the month.
Trinity Academy in North Raleigh closed its campus Tuesday after a parent tested positive for the COVID-19. Classes have since resumed.
According to the emails from Thales, the parents and student in the affected family are being quarantined under CDC guidelines.
"We have continued to be in contact with the Wake County Center for Disease Control and have been advised we are safe to remain open," the school said Tuesday. "Our cleaners have been notified and will be thoroughly sanitizing the building tonight."
The school canceled all on and off-site field trips, choral performances and music programs and after-school clubs though March. Visitors, including all parents, will not be able to visit campus unless they are picking up or dropping off a student.
The changes will stay in effect for the remainder of the quarter, the school said.
Although the school is following the advice of county health officials, worried Thales families reached out to WRAL News.
"I am concerned about this," wrote one parent. "That the school is staying open even though a parent has a confirmed case."
The school said that, if parents can elect to keep their students at home, the absences will be counted as excused.
Grace Christian School
The school reported a set of parents in their lower school community was tested for coronavirus and is waiting for the results.
According to the school, the state health department said no child or staff member is believed to have been exposed to the virus.
"However, out of an abundance of caution, we elected to close both campuses on Wednesday to clean them campuses thoroughly," said Eric Bradley, the Head of School. "Grace will be using tools that have been approved by the FDA to kill the virus and provide a hospital-grade level of cleaning."
Head of School Timothy Bridges said the school closed Tuesday after a parent tested positive.
Bridges said the parent is following guidelines issued by public health officials and is isolated at home. The person's children also are quarantined, Bridges said.
"The safety of our families is a top priority," he said. "Please keep the affected family, and all families affected by this virus, in your prayers."
What you need to know about coronavirus
In a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Roy Cooper and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services urged North Carolina citizens not to panic but to be proactive and informed.
Some of their recommendations included:
- If possible, workplaces should allow employees to work remotely.
- If employees must come in, stagger their hours to avoid a high volume of people in the same place.
- Be flexible with sick and time off policies to encourage ill employees to stay home.
- Wash hands often, avoid handshakes or hugs and stay home if you are sick.
- Call-in to doctors and manage cold and flu symptoms at home to prevent the spread of disease.
Senior citizens and anyone with outstanding health problems should avoid crowded public places. Listen to the governor's speech in full or read a recap of his remarks.