UCPS ending quarantine, contact tracing requirements

An updated policy on COVID-19 protocols for schools in the district goes into effect Feb. 7.

UNION COUNTY, NC – Union County Public Schools is lifting its quarantine and contact tracing requirements starting Monday, Feb. 7.

The UCPS School Board voted Feb. 1 to end contact tracing and quarantine requirements for students and staff. The vote passed 8-1.

Some parents in Union County are speaking out against updated COVID-19 protocols.

Dr. Kathryn Shaw has a daughter who attends county school. She told WCNC Charlotte that not knowing what’s to come is a problem.

“Several weeks ago the school system stopped publicly reporting COVID-19 cases. It’s very unfortunate because we can’t see the consequences if they hide the data,” Shaw explained. “We get reports from our specific schools, but it doesn’t tell you which class. It doesn’t tell you which class. It doesn’t give you any information to help you protect yourself or your child.”

During the February 1 meetingit was announced that the school district’s COVID-19 cases have dropped by more than 50% in the past two weeks.

In the past, school officials have confirmed that they have halted public reporting of COVID-19 cases due to the rapid execution of state quarantine guidelines.

But as of Friday, Feb. 4, the percentage positivity rate for the county was 37.7%, well above the state’s 21% positive rate.

Dr Shaw said now was not the time to stop collecting data.

“The other consequences, if you don’t know that there are infections in your child’s class or your child is associated with his immunocompromised parents with cancer, there are children who live with grandparents who are very sick,” she said. “There are so many negative consequences both for our children and for our entire community.”

RELATED: Union County Public Schools to End COVID-19 Guidelines Monday

On Sunday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services emailed WCNC. You can read the full statement below:

Shaw believes the decision doesn’t just affect children and teachers.

“How it affects people’s ability to get an appointment with their doctor,” she said. “Like I said, if someone has a heart attack, they may not be seen quickly in the ER because it’s so busy. So this school board decision is really going to impact on our entire medical community in this region.”

RELATED: Union County Leaders Reaffirm Support for Ending Contact Tracing and Quarantine Requirements for North Carolina Public School Students

The UCPS says if someone tests positive for the coronavirus, they should always stay home and self-isolate.

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