Special to Iredell Free News
The Iredell County Health Department is working closely with Iredell-Statesville School administration to monitor the situation at North Iredell High School after a cluster of COVID-19 cases was reported among school employees.
I-SS announced Wednesday that the campus would be closed temporarily.
Health officials are conducting contact tracing to identify persons who may have come into contact with an infected person. The administration continues to implement strict infection control precautions to prevent any further spread of COVID-19. The administration is working with the Health Department to ensure all precautionary protocols are followed.
At this time, N.C. Department of Health and Human Services considers five or more cases in a school or child-care facility to be a cluster. NCDHHS refers to this as a “cluster” rather than an “outbreak” because of the setting, as it is difficult to accurately determine how transmission occurred and whether it occurred within the setting or from within the broader community.
The Health Department has been encouraging all schools and child-care providers to follow the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention guidelines and State directives meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. A key part of these directives include strict adherence to infection prevention practices such as promoting healthy hygiene practices, monitoring the health of staff prior to their entrance into the building, elevated cleaning, sanitizing, proper ventilation, and promoting social distancing.
Health officials continue to encourage individuals to protect themselves to help lessen the spread of COVID-19. How to protect yourself and others:
• Practice social distancing, which means avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people and keeping 6 feet or more between yourself and others
• Frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
• If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw it in the trash
• Stay home when you’re sick
• Keep distance from others who are sick
• Avoid touching your face
• Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces in common areas like doorknobs, remotes, light switches, tables and handles.
• Wear cloth mask or face covering when out in public where you may be around people, like grocery
stores or pharmacies, and still try to practice social distancing.