HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The line inside Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough Thursday evening was long. Everyone was waiting to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
William Payton and his family stood in line together.
“We hadn’t even intended to do it this way. We [he and his wife] happened to work here. When we found out it was available, we just wanted to go ahead and get it done,” Payton said.
Payton, his daughter Zoe, and son Zion, received their booster shots. It’s an extra layer of protection as the spring semester begins.
“There is no way you can be fully 100 percent that you aren’t exposed to the virus, but as educators, we have a responsibility,” said Payton’s wife, Danielle.
Monday’s pop-up clinic at Cedar Ridge High came as the North Carolina Board of Education approved shorter quarantine times.
“So, this is all about what’s the higher risk of spreading. What can we do to lower that risk of spreading,” said state health director, Dr. Betsey Tilson.
This means students who are fully vaccinated will no longer have to quarantine if they are exposed to the virus. That’s if their school requires masks and the student is not feeling sick.
Any student who is exposed to COVID-19 but not vaccinated will still have to quarantine for five days and wear a mask for five days after that if they don’t have symptoms.
“It’s a tough balance. You’re in a situation where the kids get a lot of balance out of being together, but you just have to watch out for their health. We think the schools have been doing the right thing,” said Mason Matthews.
Matthews’ son Ryan is an eighth-grader at A.L. Stanback Middle School in Hillsborough. Ryan plans to get his booster soon and said he feels safe at school.
“There are teachers going around the school now checking to make sure everyone has their masks on properly,” he said.
Tilson said during Thursday’s meeting that the state wants to clear up the quarantine rules for students who are boosted.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services plans to post updated guidance Friday.