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Schools had more than 900 new COVID cases in Winston-Salem/Forsyth system last week
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Schools had more than 900 new COVID cases in Winston-Salem/Forsyth system last week

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The previous high was 314 cases in the week ending Sept. 17.

For the week ending Jan. 7, the school district reported 644 positive cases among students and 263 among staff members for a case count of 907. The case count was particularly high at schools in Clemmons.

Clemmons Elementary had 15 positive cases; Clemmons Middle School reported 24 cases among students and seven among staff members; and West Forsyth had 29 students and 10 teachers test positive. Glenn High School also had 10 teachers test positive, according to the school district’s weekly dashboard.

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The case count reflects numbers gathered from the school district’s contact tracing team and families who self-report. It does not include students and staff in the district’s Virtual Academy.

Students returned from winter break Jan. 5, in the midst of soaring infection rates fueled by the highly contagious omicron variant.

The school board is scheduled to vote at Tuesday’s meeting on whether to continue its mask mandate. The state passed a law in August requiring local school boards to vote each month on masking policies. Based on past votes, the local school board is unlikely to overturn its mask mandate, which requires people to wear masks inside school buildings unless they are involved in an athletic competition or performance.

The school district and the Forsyth County Department of Public Health is expected to begin its long-awaited testing program at 15 schools sometime this month.

The district’s weekly case count had been as low as 70 cases in the week before Thanksgiving break before creeping back up in early December, a result of holiday gatherings and the emergence of omicron.

336-727-7420

@lisaodonnellWSJ

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