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COVID impacts HCHS

AHOSKIE – Over 100 students here at Hertford County High School are quarantined after seven of their classmates tested positive for COVID-19.

Cases of the virus have also been confirmed among staff and students at five other public schools in the Hertford County system.

On Tuesday afternoon, HCPS Superintendent Dr. William T. Wright Jr. said the outbreak at the high school started Monday with five students learning they had tested positive for the highly contagious virus.

“Those students, due to having various schedules, move about the entire school. That leaves our staff with the task of learning who those students came in close contact with in all of the classes they attended,” Dr. Wright explained.

The Superintendent added that HCHS staff worked late on Monday putting together lists of “close contacts” of the five positive students. That resulted in 97 students in quarantine.

“Today (Tuesday), we learned of two additional students testing positive for COVID-19,” Dr. Wright revealed. “The same thing will happen as on Monday….staff will work to build close contact lists and those students will quarantine, like all others, for a period of 14 days.”

Dr. Wright added that HCHS is not alone when it comes to positive cases of the virus.

“With the exception of CS Brown STEM, there are positive cases at our other schools as well,” he confirmed. “As of today, we have nine staff members and 18 students – not counting the ones at the high school – who have tested positive for the virus since Aug. 23.”

Dr. Wright added that the number of close contacts at the other schools is still being calculated.

“It’s a moving target,” he stressed. “As we did with the cases at the high school, we will quickly notify the parents of students known to be close contacts.”

The Superintendent thanked the parents of Hertford County students for keeping the staff informed if they felt their children were not feeling well and kept them at home.

“That information helps us protect our students and our staff,” Wright stated.

He also quelled a rumor that the HCHS Band was impacted by the virus.

“No one in the band has COVID; we decided to pause all their scheduled activities, to include practice, as a matter of health safety,” Wright said.

As to what the next steps may be, Wright said there is a meeting scheduled for Friday with Albemarle Regional Health Services.

“We want to learn what is our best course of action to navigate this outbreak and at what point do we need to consider keeping students and staff at home in an effort to get us past this recent rash of cases,” Wright concluded.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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