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Several Guilford County schools say they shouldn't be on state COVID-19 clusters list
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Several Guilford County schools say they shouldn't be on state COVID-19 clusters list

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GREENSBORO — Seven schools in Guilford County appeared Tuesday on the state’s list of COVID-19 clusters, but according to nearly all of the schools listed, the cases do not appear to be the result of at-school transmission.

Greensboro Day School, Triad Math and Science Academy, Greensboro Academy, Revolution Academy Charter School and High Point Christian Academy were either just added to the list or had new cases reported. Southeast and Western high schools remained on the state’s cluster list with no new cases reported.

At High Point Christian Academy, the state reported one case among staff and four cases among students, but Advancement Director Jennifer Lambert said there is no cluster within the academy’s community.

“I called the Guilford County Health Department to ask for clarification on this inaccurate reporting,” Lambert said in an email Tuesday. “After speaking to two individuals with the health department, they said this was a mistake on their side.”

Lambert said the health department is notifying the state and High Point Christian Academy is expected be taken off the cluster report.

The state is also reporting nine student cases at Greensboro Day School, but spokesperson Jeff Topham said the school does not have a COVID-19 cluster as defined by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

In a child care or school setting, a COVID-19 cluster is defined as a minimum of five confirmed cases within a 14-day period and “plausible epidemiologic linkage” between cases.

For cases to be linked, the students who tested positive would have had to be in the same classroom or general area.

“We have conducted thorough contact tracing in these cases and found no evidence that COVID-19 is being transmitted on campus,” Topham said in an email.

Kelly Haight, communication manager with NCDHHS, said schools report positive cases to their local health departments and clusters are determined through “case investigation.” The cluster report is updated weekly after that data is received, Haight said in an email.

“If continued case investigation determines cases are not a cluster, it would be removed from the report,” Haight said.

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Topham said that since there’s no epidemiologic link between cases at Greensboro Day School, the school has contacted the county health department and requested the report be corrected.

Updates on Greensboro Day School’s case numbers can be found on their website dashboard.

Greensboro Academy’s principal said it should not be included in the state’s cluster report for the same reason.

“Although we have had cases at Greensboro Academy, we do not meet the definition of a cluster as there is no plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases,” principal Tracey Duhaime said in an email.

At Revolution Academy Charter School, one new case reported among staff and two new cases among children brought the total number in the school’s cluster to nine, according to the report.

At Triad Math and Science Academy, five new cases reported among students increased the total caseload to 15.

Principal Paul Bryant said seven of those cases stem from the elementary campus on Industrial Road and the remaining eight from the school’s main campus on Creekridge Drive.

None of those cases included in the state’s report are from on-campus transmissions, Bryant said, and all students who have tested positive have done so as a result of home or community exposure.

Bryant said the school’s soccer team was also placed under quarantine, per CDC guidelines, after a player tested positive.

“No one else tested positive except the first student who seemed to have contracted it from home,” Bryant said.

The quarantine officially ended Monday, according to Bryant.

Along with following mask mandates and being vigilant with COVID-19 protocols, Bryant said nearly 60% of their high school students report being vaccinated, along with over 97% of teachers and staff.

“We are not perfect but do our best to keep our students safe and we will continue to do so.”

 

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