MCPH identifies cluster of COVID-19 cases at Franklin High School

Macon County Public Health reported on Tuesday that it has identified a cluster of individuals at Franklin High School who have tested positive for COVID-19 and are isolated from others.

All staff and students who have potentially been exposed to these individuals have been contacted and will be tested for COVID-19.

MC Schools Superintendent Chris Baldwin said he would not release any more information about the positive cases.

“I would prefer allowing the Health Dept. to release this information due to their ability to provide the most up to date and accurate information,” said Baldwin.

Franklin High School has suspended face-to-face instruction through Sept. 11 and students are engaging in remote instruction with their teachers until that date. 

Baldwin said the MC School Board will be in consultation with local health officials to determine how to proceed with instruction. As of press time, there are no plans to change operations.

“The Macon County Board of Education made the decision to suspend face-to-face instruction prior to learning of the cluster of COVID-19 cases at FHS,” said Baldwin. “No further changes will be implemented until Sept. 11.”

He added that MCS also suspended face-to-face instruction at Mountain View Intermediate and Macon Middle School through Sept. 11, because of quarantined staff at these locations.

In addition to Franklin High School staff and students, MCPH is working to identify any additional close contacts of these individuals.

The CDC defines close contact as being within approximately 6 feet of a person with an infection with COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time of 10 minutes or longer.

Based on information provided by the individual/parent, county health officials will assess risks of exposure, determine which if any additional measures are needed such as temperature and symptom checks, quarantine and/or testing.

MCPH’s Medical Director and Macon County Public Schools are working together to limit the spread of COVID-19 among staff, students, and the community.

For more information, please visit the CDC’s website at http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and NCDHHS’ website at http://www.ncdhhs.gov/coronavirus, which also includes future positive COVID-19 test results in North Carolina.

Symptoms for COVID-19 are fever, cough, other lower respiratory illness (shortness of breath). If you believe that you may have COVID-19, please call the Health Department at 828.349.2517. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., closing daily for lunch from 12-1 p.m., until further notice.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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