School board continues mask policy as COVID-19 cases rise | The Wilson Times
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WILSON COUNTY SCHOOLS

School board continues mask policy as COVID-19 cases rise

Posted on January 11, 2022

Updated on January 16, 2022

Top newsLocal newsCOVID-19
Wilson County Schools Superintendent Lane Mills takes a picture of first grader Patricia Harmon on the first day of school in August at Vinson-Bynum Elementary School. Students and staff have been wearing masks all year and will continue to for at least another month.

Drew C. Wilson | Times

Wilson County Schools Superintendent Lane Mills takes a picture of first grader Patricia Harmon on the first day of school in August at Vinson-Bynum Elementary School. Students and staff have been wearing masks all year and will continue to for at least another month.

olivia@wilsontimes.com | 252-265-7879

The Wilson County Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday to continue the district’s mask mandate as COVID-19 cases increase locally and nationally. The policy has been effect since the start of the school year.

Assistant Superintendent Ben Williams provided board members an update on pandemic case counts. As of Tuesday, 18 Wilson County Schools staff members and 117 students were COVID-19 positive, according to the school system’s dashboard. All 143 active contacts were students, and that figure jumped from 69 students on Monday.

Williams said the system doesn’t have any classrooms or schools in remote learning. Hunt High School’s junior varsity basketball team is quarantined until Thursday, officials said Tuesday.

ISOLATION AND QUARANTINE GUIDELINES

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services updated its StrongSchoolsNC Public Health Toolkit for K-12 schools on Friday with information on isolation and quarantines.

Williams said those who have tested positive for COVID-19 are required to isolate for five days. Students and employees can return on Day 6 if symptoms have improved and they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours without fever reducing medication. A person who’s been identified as a close contact is now required to quarantine for five days, not 10. Those individuals can return on Day 6 if they are not displaying symptoms. 

Williams noted three exceptions to the quarantine rules for people identified as COVID-19 contacts. Quarantining is no longer required if any of the following apply:

• Everyone was properly masked.

• The individual who came in close contact with a COVID-19 positive person has had COVID-19 in the last 90 days.

• The contact is 18 or older, fully vaccinated and has had a booster; is 18 or older, fully vaccinated and isn’t eligible for a booster; or is age 5-17, fully vaccinated and hasn’t received a booster.

WILSON COUNTY COVID-19 DATA

Wilson County as a whole has seen cases rise after the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. In the last week, Wilson County’s average number of positive COVID-19 cases stood at 148, Williams said. The percentage of positive cases is 33.6%.

Data shows 54% of Wilson County’s population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine: 58.8% of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated, 53.9% of the population 5 and older are fully vaccinated, and 28% of people 18 and older who are fully vaccinated have been boosted.

In other business

• The school board and county commissioners will hold a joint meeting to discuss capital projects at 6 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Wilson Agricultural Center auditorium.

• The board unanimously approved the Proficiency Summer School 2022 plan administrators recommended.

• The board received information on contracts with the Encore Technology Group to increase wireless connectivity for things including field trips and outside instruction; Language Line Solutions for interpretation services; and Soft Choice for system-wide Microsoft 365 software renewals.

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