WCPSS considering more safety protocols as COVID-19 cases surge in 1st week of school

COVID-19 and schools

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Less than a week into the school year, Wake County education leaders are now considering adding more safety measures.

Wednesday, the Wake County Public School System sent a letter to parents writing.

“Now that traditional-calendar schools are open, more than 140 cases were reported in the first two days of this week. This is happening because people infected with the delta variant are more contagious than last year,” the letter said in part.

“[I’m] scared enough to get him vaccinated this week. I was really on the fence about it. I’m sick of getting the emails of possible exposures. So, I’m going to go ahead and get him vaccinated so I don’t have to worry,” said Effie Demertzis.

Demertzis’ son is a sixth grader at Franklin Academy Charter School in Wake Forest. She said hearing the news prompted her decision to get her son vaccinated.

“He’s OK with it. He’s more concerned with the symptoms. I think he, too, is just sick of being scared all the time,” she said.

Starting next week, WCPSS announced that all schools will have to identify as many indoor and outdoor eating options as possible.

The district is also considering regular COVID-19 testing for all unvaccinated student-athletes, as well as all non-vaccinated employees.

The school board will look at a requirement that everyone wears face coverings both indoors and outdoors at school, even during recess, athletics, and extra-curricular activities.

Scheduled “mask breaks” would be allowed.

Arnis Boschulte said she and others plan to make and donate dozens of masks to kids across Wake County.

“I thought I would help out by making masks for children in grade school. They are coming to school and that’s an expense that parents have to buy,” Boschulte said.

“Two for each child. As many as I can. I’m not the only one. There are others who sew that are doing this. We need to protect our kids,” she continued.

According to WCPSS, a large majority of its staff is now vaccinated and about 60 percent of students 12 to 17 are also vaccinated.

The school board will discuss all of the consideration at its next meeting on September 7th.

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