• COVID-19

Student wearing mask and reading a book
  • COVID-19

    To minimize the spread of COVID-19, we follow prevention strategies from the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This summer, NCDHHS phased out the StrongSchools NC Public Health Toolkit and we are following the guidance from CDC. 

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) References

    As a Reminder:

    • CDC recommends staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations to prevent severe disease.
    • Students and staff should stay home if they are sick, not feeling well, or exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Learn more.
    • Recommends that all staff, students, and visitors wear masks as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • Our schools continue to emphasize the importance of good hand hygiene and continue to incorporate opportunities for hand-washing throughout the school day. 
    • Our schools continue to emphasize the importance of respiratory etiquette (Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and if you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands).
    • We continue to maintain the same levels of cleaning and disinfecting restrooms, classrooms, buses and cafeteria tables regularly. 
    • Soap & paper towel dispensers continue to be checked regularly and replenished.
    • Hand sanitizer dispensers continue to be checked and replenished.
    • To improve air quality, our schools are designed with increased ventilation to outside air and use MERV-13 high filtration filters in the HVAC systems. 
    • And for both the health and wellness of our students, our schools will continue to find opportunities to learn, eat and play outdoors.

    Staying Up-to-Date on Vaccinations

    CDC recommends staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations to prevent severe disease.

    Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette

    Washing hands can prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

    • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.

    To help stop the spread of germs:

    • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
    • If no tissue is available, cough or sneeze into the elbow, not the hands.
    • Throw used tissues in the trash.

    Stay Home When Sick or Not Feeling Well

    Individuals who are sick, not feeling well, or have symptoms of COVID-19 should stay home and get tested for COVID-19. People who are at risk for severe illness with COVID-19 who test positive should consult with a healthcare provider right away for possible treatment, even if their symptoms are mild.

    Masks

    There are no current local, state, or federal policies mandating universal masking in schools. Our district remains in contact with local public health officials about community levels of COVID-19 transmission and will continue to seek their guidance on best practice mitigation strategies.

    The following are recommendations by the CDC for COVID-19 community levels. These are not requirements.

    COVID-19 Community Level

    CDC Mask Recommendation

    Low

    No recommendations for masks.

    Medium

    Masks are recommended if you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease.

    Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions (e.g., testing).

    High

    Well-fitting masks are recommended indoors in public, regardless of vaccination status (including in K-12 schools and other indoor community settings).

    Masks are recommended if you are immunocompromised or at high risk for severe disease.

    Talk to your healthcare provider about whether you need to wear a mask and take other precautions (e.g., testing).

    If you have household or social contact with someone at high risk for severe disease

    • consider self-testing to detect infection before contact

    • consider wearing a mask when indoors with them

    Students and staff are recommended to wear a mask in the following situations: 

    • Should wear a mask for at least 10 days after symptoms onset or testing positive for COVID-19, unless a mask accommodation applies (5 days for quarantine and 5 days when you return).
    • Should wear a mask 10 days following exposure to a person with COVID-19, unless a mask accommodation applies.
    • Individuals at high risk for severe disease, are unvaccinated or are not up to date on vaccines, should wear a mask in indoor settings.

    Mask Accommodation Requests

    For situations in which students should wear masks, if a student cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition or disability, families may request a mask accommodation by submitting a Mask Accommodation Request Form (form in Spanish) to the principal.  The form requires medical certification, which must be completed and signed by a licensed healthcare provider. 

    Regional Program Students

    Regional program students (including those in self-contained preschool special education classrooms) and students with face covering accommodations are not required to request an accommodation for 2022-2023.

    Requests for Accommodations or Extra Precautions Due to Medical Needs

    WCPSS makes reasonable accommodations on a case by case basis for students and staff with disabilities when required by the ADA, Section 504, or the IDEA. Any request for accommodations or modifications to the school environment to accommodate a medical condition that renders a student high risk should be handled through a 504 or IEP team. 

    If the student has not previously been identified as a student with a disability, a referral for evaluation should be made. In order to determine if a student is entitled to a reasonable accommodation, the school must first determine if the student has a disability, which is a determination that must be made by a 504 or IEP team. 

    If a student has a disabling condition that renders the student medically high risk for complications from COVID-19, the 504 or IEP team should gather reliable medical evidence (including a medical evaluation if necessary) and then determine whether appropriate accommodations can reasonably be made in the school environment. 

    If questions arise regarding whether a particular accommodation is reasonable or appropriate, schools should contact the Special Education Services department or District 504 Team for assistance.

    COVID-19 Reporting - Required by North Carolina General Statute

    Our COVID-19 dashboard will be updated each Monday with positive cases reported by families and staff from the previous week.

    Testing

    At-Home testing kits are provided to families and staff upon request for symptoms of COVID-19.

    Schools and work sites should designate a point person to provide at-home test kits to parents and guardians, and staff with symptoms of COVID-19 upon request.

    • Parents, guardians and staff should follow testing directions provided with test kits.
    • Schools and work sites should not provide instructions on how to use test kits.
    • Test kits should not be given to students.
    • Testing should not be performed on WCPSS schools or work sites.
    • No documentation of who received testing kits is needed.
    • Families and staff should continue to report positive cases to their principal or supervisor.

Feedback?

We welcome your feedback. Reach out to your principal with questions specific to your school or student.