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Schools urge community support to keep students in classrooms

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 7:09 PM EDT
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NEW BERN, N.C. (WITN) - Coronavirus cases continue to spike all around North Carolina, and the surge in cases is again threatening to close schools and send students back to virtual learning. It’s with that in mind that educators are pleading with the community to help them slow the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday students at Graham Barden Elementary School in Havelock were sent home after a large cluster of students and staff either tested positive for the virus or were exposed to it and required to quarantine.

For Craven County Schools Superintendent Dr. Wendy Miller, the continued presence of the virus means that everyone must do their part to keep children and staff healthy.

“We’re trying to keep folks in the building in every precaution to keep our folks safe because we know kids in front of teachers is the most important work that we do,” said Dr. Miller.

For the school system, the 3 W’s remain a prominent part of their safety precautions, and masks are required for everyone. “Pre-K, two years old and above through grade 13 for our early college high schools both staff and students must wear a mask,” explained Dr. Miller.

But Communications Director Jennifer Wagner says it will take more than just wearing masks while in school, and that students, staff, and the entire community need to come together to help slow the spread and keep the virus out of the schools.

“If we could really reiterate how important it is that they wear their mask that’s going to be critical in regards to being able to keep us in school,” said Wagner.

School system officials are also reminding people about the importance of staying home if you don’t feel well.

In an effort to help minimize the footprint left behind by one positive COVID-19 case, Craven County Schools have now adjusted their quarantine protocols.

“The main changes are options, instead of the 10-day quarantine, if on day 5 or later someone has a negative test they can come back at day 7 and it sounds like that’s just 3 days but 3 days of student in front of a teacher makes a big difference,” said Dr. Miller.

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