UPDATE: 11:25 a.m. A student at Old Dock, another student at Edgewood Elementary, and a staff member at East Columbus have tested positive for COVID 19.
Three cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at separate schools.
Superintendent Deanna Meadows said Thursday evening all children and adults who were in direct contact have been personally contacted and quarantined. The affected schools are Old Dock and East Columbus.
“ If an employee or parent was not contacted individually then the staff member or student was not exposed,” she said. The Health Department is assisting with contact tracing, Meadows said in a press release.
Dr. Mark Whichard of the Whiteville City Schools said a student at Edgewood has been confirmed positive, and contact tracing has helped notify everyone who had contact with the student.
“Our procedures for the wearing of face coverings and social distancing were followed, as well as the proper use of hand-sanitizing / hand-washing,” Whichard said in an email. ” We continue to monitor these practices to ensure rigorous compliance and enforcement. We ask that the community continue to discuss the importance of following these practices, as well as keeping students home who may exhibit any one of the identified symptoms.”
Meadows also emphasized the need for anyone who might be sick, or have been exposed to a sick person, not to come on school grounds.
“In both cases this week, members of the immediate family had reason to believe that one or more members of the family were positive. Instead of quarantining everyone in the home while waiting for the results, the infected persons came on campus,” she said. “While asymptomatic at the time of entering the school, their later positive diagnosis means that all who came in close contact must be quarantined.
“ This could have been prevented if those who suspected they were positive would have quarantined themselves and/or their family.”
This Is a developing story.