COVID cases confirmed in first week back to school

There have been possible outbreaks of COVID-19 at three of the eight schools in the county. Mecklenburg’s case load has surged since the first week of September with over 200 new cases reported since September 1.

The following schools have had a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the opening week:

  • Clarksville Elementary
  • Bluestone Middle
  • Bluestone High

“I will confirm that we have had students and staff who have tested positive for COVID this year, and which have resulted in other students being quarantined. In a few cases, we have had to quarantine an entire class of students. In each situation, the parents were notified,” Nichols stated.

There may have been a case in Chase City Elementary, Park View Middle, and Park View High, but those have not been confirmed at this time.

Each of the schools with a confirmed case are working hard with teachers and nurses to make sure all individuals who have had contact with the reported case(s) are under quarantine. We will update if an outbreak has been confirmed at any of the schools, or if a case has been confirmed in the remaining schools.

In an update released September 12, Superintendent Paul Nichols stressed the urgency of parents running through a checklist with their children every day before sending them off to school and making sure that they are not experiencing any fever or other COVID-19 symptoms. He expressed that if students are experiencing a fever or other symptoms, parents should keep them home for the day.

Nichols shared insight into MCPS’s contact tracing methods. He stated that only those who have been in contact with a suspected COVID-19 case for 15 minutes or more and students who have been in the same classroom with the suspected case even while masked are contacted and advised to quarantine. Nichols also advised parents to keep children in quarantine while they are awaiting a test result.

MCPS schools also ended up sending quite a few children home the first day of school due to a vaccine shortage that kept them from getting their Meningococcal shot beforehand.

The Virginia Department of Health also reports that hospitalizations due to COVID and deaths linked to the virus have increased in the two weeks since September began. There have been 114 total hospitalizations, up 11 from September 1, and 73 deaths—two more since the first of the month.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department continues to offer vaccine appointments in their office every Thursday. Call them at (434) 738-6545.