Skip to main contentSkip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
8 more schools in Burke identified with COVID-19 clusters
0 Comments
special report top story
BURKE COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

8 more schools in Burke identified with COVID-19 clusters

Virus cases continue to increase in county, state

  • Updated
  • 0
COVID-19

As cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in Burke County and around the state, eight additional schools in the county were identified with clusters of the virus on Thursday.

The White House said Wednesday the administration is making a dedicated stream of 5 million rapid tests and 5 million lab-based PCR tests available to schools starting this month. During a briefing Wednesday, White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said, "the president is clear, the nation's schools can and should be open, and we have given state and local leaders the resources to ensure they can be open." The goal is to ease supply shortages and promote the safe reopening of schools. The initiative comes after Chicago public schools closed for days amid an impasse between teachers and officials over reopening policies.

Burke County also added 157 active cases of the virus and cases in the state went up by more than 30,000 on Thursday.

Burke County Public Schools reported Thursday clusters of COVID-19 at East Burke, Walter Johnson and Table Rock middle schools, Ray Childers, Hildebran and Oak Hill elementary schools and East Burke High School. North Liberty School also was added to the list of schools with clusters on Thursday. 

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services defines a cluster as a minimum of five confirmed diagnostic cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic link between cases, information from the school system said.

Clusters also were reported at Forest Hill Elementary, Heritage Middle and Patton High schools on Wednesday.

Students and staff at Hallyburton Academy returned to the school on Thursday after being shut down on Jan. 7 due to cases and quarantines among staff and students since the system returned from the holiday break on Jan. 3.

North Liberty School and Drexel Elementary School were forced to close this week at least through the middle of next week due to the virus. Monday is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, and Tuesday is a teacher work day, the school system said.

The Burke County COVID-19 dashboard reported 1,874 active cases on Thursday, up from 1,717 active cases on Wednesday.

UNC Health Blue Ridge reported it has 27 COVID-19 patients – 20 unvaccinated – with five of them – all unvaccinated – in the intensive care unit. It reported 335 patients in its COVID-19 virtual hospital on Thursday.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 44,833 new virus cases on Thursday but part of the large number of cases include 10,791 positive cases that one lab did not report cases from Dec. 31 through Jan. 11 to the department. NCDHHS said GENETWORx laboratory failures to report the cases to its department did not cause any delays in results being sent to patients or providers.

The department reported the daily percent positive rate for Thursday was 30.1% and 4,275 people hospitalized throughout the state, up from 4,098 people hospitalized on Wednesday. The total number of deaths in the state due to the virus increased to 19,850, up from 19,763 deaths on Wednesday.

Health officials in the county and state have continued to urge people to wear masks and get vaccinated against COVID-19.

The health department offers COVID-19 vaccines from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Fridays. The department also is offering a flu vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 14. Appointments can be made by calling 828-764-9150.

The Burke County Health Department said it will be following the most recent guidance provided from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Dec. 27 for quarantining and isolating. The guidance says:

If you are unvaccinated and have been exposed to COVID-19:

• Stay home for five days only if no symptoms develop. After that continue to wear a mask around others for an additional five days.

• Get a COVID-19 test five days after your last exposure.

If you are fully vaccinated but have not received your booster and are exposed to COVID-19:

• Stay home for five days. After that continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.

• If you can’t quarantine you must wear a mask for 10 days.

• Get a COVID-19 test five days after your last exposure, if possible.

• If symptoms develop, you should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms your symptoms are not related to COVID-19.

If you are fully vaccinated plus boosted and you are exposed to COVID-19:

• You do not have to quarantine but wear a mask properly for the next 10 days.

• Get a COVID-19 test five days after your last exposure date, if possible.

• If symptoms occur, you should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms your symptoms are not related to COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19 regardless of your vaccination status:

• Stay home for five days.

• If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after five days, you can leave your house.

• Continue to wear a mask around others for five additional days.

0 Comments

Get local news delivered to your inbox!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

News Alert