Wayne County Public Schools reports its 1st COVID-19 cluster

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FILE – This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases – Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. On Monday, Oct. 5, 2020, the top U.S. public health agency said that coronavirus can spread greater distances through the air than 6 feet, particularly in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials continued to say such spread is uncommon, and current social distancing guidelines still make sense. (NIAID-RML via AP)

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCT) Wayne County Public Schools (WCPS) has reported its first COVID-19 cluster.

The cluster, which occurred at North Drive Elementary, involves four staff members and two students, none of whom have been on campus for the past week.

Out of an abundance of caution the school will be transitioned to Plan C, full remote instruction, while the district monitors for further cases.

“The school had four reported cases between October 6 and October 9. Today, we learned about two additional cases. Based on contract tracing, we believe these cases are connected,” said Dr. James Merrill, WCPS superintendent.

Last weekend, North Drive Elementary was deep cleaned by a professional cleaning service after the district started seeing a higher than usual number of cases over the course of a week.

A second deep clean will occur before any staff or students return to the building.

As part of its COVID-19 response protocols, WCPS reported the cluster to the local health department.

All recommended guidelines from the NC Department of Health and Human Services are being followed.

North Drive Elementary is the second school WCPS has transitioned from Plan B to Plan C due to COVID-19.

Last week, Brogden Primary was transitioned to Plan C until October 20, although it was not considered a COVID-19 cluster.

In both situations, WCPS made the decision to transition to Plan C out of an abundance of caution and then notified the health department of its precautionary actions.

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