The number of new cases of COVID-19 in area schools continues to grow. Lincoln County Schools reported just 37 cases during the first week of school (Aug. 23-27). That increased to 90 confirmed positive cases in week #2 (Aug. 30-Sept. 3). Last week (Sept. 7-Sept. 10), school was closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday. The number of cases increased to 126. This week's report issued Friday Sept. 17th shows 142 cases.
The largest number of cases in a single school was at G.E. Massey--25. Lincolnton Middle SChool had 17; Lincolnton High School 14. West Lincoln High, North Lincoln High, and East Lincoln Middle each had 10. North Brook had 8, Norris Childers and West Lincoln Middle each had 7, Battleground and East Lincoln High each had 6. S. Ray Lowder, Rock Springs and Love Memorial each had four, Pumpkin Center Primary had 2, Pumpkin Center Intermediate and North Lincoln Middle each had one and there was one case in the schools' central office.
The School Board, on a 4-3 vote, decided Tuesday night to make masks optional effective Sept. 29th. The NC Dept. of Health & Human Services is considering action against Union County's School Board after they chose to continue masks optional on Monday.
Cleveland County's School Board voted Monday to continue requiring masks. Gaston County's School Board will meet Monday (Sept. 20th) and will discuss its mask mandate passed before classes began on Aug. 23rd after the head of the local Health Dept. urged them to require masks because of the surge of cases in the county. The Catawba County School Board started the year 'masks optional,' but held an emergency meeting Aug. 31st after cases grew quickly and made masks mandatory Sept. 2nd. They'll discuss their mask policy on Monday Sept. 27th at their regular monthly meeting as required by a new state law.
Catawba County Schools number of current active cases (staff & students) swelled to 256 on Sept. 9th, but was down to 206 on Friday (Sept. 17th).
According to NCDHHS, Lincoln County has recorded 531 new cases in the last week, 105 of those since Thursday. Catawba County reported 565 new cases in the last week; Gaston County, 540; and Cleveland County, 750.
The Lincoln County Health Department's weekly report issued Wednesday (Sept. 15th) showed