COVID-19 cases up as kids in the Cape Fear return to the classroom

CAPE FEAR REGION, NC (WWAY) — Kids in the Cape Fear Region returned to the classroom this week and it appears they brought COVID-19 along with them.

Out of all school districts in the Cape Fear, New Hanover County is reporting the most with 117 cases among staff and students. Whiteville City Schools with the least at only 16 cases.

  • Bladen County Schools: 43 cases
  • Brunswick County Schools: 60 cases
  • Columbus County Schools: 66 cases
  • New Hanover County Schools: 117 cases
  • Pender County Schools: 96 cases
  • Whiteville City Schools: 16 cases

While some parents are not fans of the mask mandates, New Hanover County Board of Education Vice-Chairman Nelson Beaulieu said masks in schools are a better alternative for students than remote learning.

“I know everybody’s anxious to get rid of those but we need to make sure that our students are back safely, that they’re back consistently, and that they’re having a great year,” Beaulieu said. “They need it, they deserve it, and I think that’s the hope of everybody in the county.”

So far, no districts have plans of going remote and they’re hopeful they will remain in person. Admins from most districts noted that the cases currently reported were contracted outside of the classroom during the summer.

Pender County Schools reports the second-highest case count in the area with 96 cases. The district spokesman Alex Riley says cases are up, but quarantines and isolations are about the same as they were last year when less children were in classrooms.

If a school nurse calls to notify you that your child has been exposed or tested positive for the virus, he asks parents and guardians to be patient.

“It’s not something they want to do. They want to keep kids in school too. But for the safety of everyone, it’s the thing that we have to do,” Riley said.

To help reduce risk, Riley encourages members of the community to take precautions in and out of school.

“We know masks are a pain. We know nobody wants to wear them, we know everybody wants to get back to normal, but if you can try to wear your mask out in public. Try to social distance when you’re out in public and try to avoid those large crowds,” Riley said. “The safer you are away from the school building, the more likely you are to be safe when you come to a school building.”

Brunswick County Schools has a dashboard that is updated daily with COVID-19 cases and quarantines in each school.

Categories: Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Local, New Hanover, Pender, Top Stories

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