Onslow County BOE members exposed to COVID-19, meeting postponed


JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Officials with Onslow County Schools said Monday the scheduled board of education meeting for Tuesday night is being postponed.

The decision comes after some of the individuals set to be at that meeting were exposed to or tested positive for the coronavirus. The school district is not releasing the names of the people or how many tested positive for COVID-19 or were exposed to the virus.

According to published reports, two newly elected members — Joseph Speranza and Eric Whitfield — contracted the virus. Speranza, Whitfield, Republican incumbent Ken Reddic and Melissa Oakley are the four board members who were originally scheduled to be sworn in at Tuesday’s meeting.

9OYS reached out to Speranza but never heard back. Whitfield responded by saying to not call him for another year. He referred WNCT to another school board member for further comment.

The district’s chief communication officer, Brent Anderson, said rescheduling the meeting is in the best interest and safety of everyone. School officials are not in an immediate rush to handle items on the agenda. They said any decisions that have to be made can wait until later in December.

“The items that we’re looking at are things that are needed by the state, so we’ve been
also reaching out to the state just to let them know we kind of had to postpone the meeting and looking for any guidance they can give us and if everything is going to work out on their timetable,” said Anderson.

School officials said COVID-19 is not impacting any major district projects. Two schools already under construction are still on schedule.

The meeting was rescheduled to December 15. At that time, all newly elected board members are expected to be sworn in.

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