With community health metrics related to COVID-19 now in the red category, Guilford County Schools announced today that it is delaying the return of more students in pre-kindergarten through second grade originally planned for tomorrow.
The decision was made based on the recommendation made earlier this afternoon by Guilford County public health officials, who indicated that updated community health data shows that students and staff would face the “highest possible risk of transmission in schools,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
According to Iulia Vann, director of the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, the number of cases per 100,000 persons as well as the number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days in the county both signaled higher levels of community spread, while the county’s daily COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalization rates were not improving.
“If we want our children back in school, then we need more help from the community to do so,” said Vann. “Wear a mask or face covering, limit your exposure to people outside of your immediate family, exercise caution when restarting family activities, stay socially distanced and practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.”
Students in pre-kindergarten through second grade, who were set to return on Oct. 20, will now be considered on Friday, Oct. 23 for a potential return on Monday, Oct. 26. Due to the low numbers of students involved, pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students who are on campus on a voluntary basis will be allowed to continue in-person learning.
“We understand that this is frustrating for our parents, students and staff, who have worked so hard to have schools ready for students tomorrow,” said Superintendent Sharon Contreras. “This is frustrating for us as well. However, we rely on our public health partners, and when public health says the risk of transmission is in its highest category with no signs of improvement, as educators, we’re going to listen.”
For more information on reopening schools, visit www.gcsnc.com/reopening.