DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. — Davidson County Schools reports more than 100 students out of classrooms in the first three days of the new school year. Those students are out of classrooms after coming in close contact with COVID at district schools where masks are optional.
Friendship Elementary is one of the 11 Davidson County Schools that sent students home because of close contact. During the first three days of class, the district said 118 students were sent home because of exposure.
Those Schools include: Davis-Townsend Elementary, Reeds Elementary, Ledford High, East Davidson High, Central Davidson Middle, Denton Elementary, Midway Elementary, Davidson County High School, Hasty Elementary, Brown Middle School, and Friendship Elementary.
According to a quarantine and isolation chart from the district, those students impacted by it can be out of school anywhere from 7 to 14 days. The district said they can return on day 8, but they must wear a mask until they hit the 14-day mark.
The school district said even though students aren’t allowed in the classroom during the quarantine period, they’re still expected to complete assignments.
The district's schools COVID-19 protocols document says students will be expected to complete assignments when they are absent due to isolation or quarantine. When feasibly, assignments will be delivered to students electronically. The district also said teachers cannot be expected to be in communication with students daily.
If a student tests negative and has no symptoms on day 10 they can come back to school the following day. The student must also wear a mask until day 14.
One woman has family members in Davidson County Schools and said she is worried the numbers will keep rising.
"My niece is going to have her children wear them because it not only protects them but it protects all these other children too, Donna Campbell said. "This is a choice and you don’t want to shut the schools back down again these kids missed a year. I think they need to wear them."
The Davidson County Health Department is working with the school district to help with contact tracing. The health department said they made the same recommendation to districts in the area as the state's strong schools tool kit - which is for masking.
District officials said having this many students excluded from school is a concern.
District officials said when the board voted to make face coverings optional, they did not establish a threshold or criteria for considering an alternative plan.
The health department said they will work with the school district, but ultimately it is up to the school board. WFMY reached out to all the board members and at this time, we have not heard back yet.