COVID-19 outbreak reported in Cary High School sports team
A COVID-19 cluster was reported at Cary High on Friday, making it the second school in the Wake County school system to experience a coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter sent to families and staff on Friday, Cary High principal Nolan Bryant said Wake County Public Health had identified a COVID cluster associated with one of the school’s sports teams. A state report shows five cases at Cary High: three students and two staff.
The letter does not identify which sports team had the cases.
“Individuals in the cluster have been identified and ordered to isolate or quarantine,” Bryant said in the letter. “People who have been infected or exposed to COVID-19 will not return to campus until they meet the conditions to do so. “
A “cluster” is defined by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as five or more linked cases in the same facility within 14 days.
Previously, a group involving three staff and two students was identified in December at Lynn Road Elementary School in Raleigh. Wake County Superintendent Cathy Moore said the group involved school lunch times, one of the few cases where students and staff are allowed to remove their face coverings during the school day.
Moore said the Lynn Road cluster could lead to changes in the way the district handles meal times.
On Thursday, the Wake County School Board voted to expand the use of online-only courses until at least mid-February. No student has had in-person classes since December.
The majority of North Carolina public school students are back in distance education only because of the increase in COVID-19 cases statewide.
High school athletes report cases of COVID
Wake High Schools have not had in-person classes since mid-March. But a number of cases of COVID have been reported in high schools because student athletes are training.
As of December 18, 75 people associated with Wake County High School sports teams have tested positive for COVID-19, according to Deran Coe, district athletic director.
In a letter sent Thursday after the council vote, families were told no changes would be made to high school athletics at this time. College sports are suspended until in-person classes resume.
Clusters of COVID are more common in Wake County at private schools and charter schools. Friday’s state report showed active clusters at Cary Christian School, Cardinal Charter Academy in Wendell Falls, Grace Christian School, North Raleigh Christian Academy and St. David’s School.
This story was originally published January 15, 2021 4:59 pm.