Wake County educators hope for tighter restrictions as COVID-19 cases rise in schools, community

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Wake County schools reported 80 COVID-19 cases within the district over the past week, with more than half of them being staff.

“It’s one stat, which doesn’t say a whole lot by itself,” said Kristin Beller, president of the Wake County chapter of the North Carolina Association of Educators.

Beller said the case numbers in Wake County schools and across the area show a need for change.

“It’d be nice if we could just trust everyone was going to do better for winter break, but we don’t run systems on trust, you know, we have to put in some real measures,” said Beller.

She hopes either the government tightens restrictions in the community or the school district reduces the number of kids in the classroom.

“I think the safest thing would be a two to three-week quarantine after the break and then to re-evaluate because at that point we should be able to see where our community is,” said Beller.

She’s concerned for teachers with more students scheduled to come back.

“Educators are feeling a new level of sustained stress of worrying what if they miss something? What if they don’t see someone’s mask slip down and that kindergartener is up close talking to their friend?”

Through this, the North Carolina PTA is working to make everyone involved have their questions and concerns heard. They’re regularly holding town halls. You can find details here.

“At a minimum, we need to make sure that everyone has a seat at the table and has a voice and input in to this process,” said Meredith Rouse Davis, secretary for the NC PTA Board of Directors.

Rouse Davis said even with different opinions, everyone wants the same result.

“It’s keeping the children safe. That’s what everyone wants. Regardless of their position of going to school or not going to school, they just want to keep their children safe,” said Rouse Davis.

Beller pointed out people are not required to report to the school district if they have COVID-19.

However, she said staff members may be more inclined to report or more likely to have symptoms leading them to get a test, which is why there could be more staff reporting cases than students.

CBS 17 asked WCPSS if they’re considering returning to complete remote learning. We have not yet heard back.

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