GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Guilford County Schools will not reopen for in-person learning on Tuesday.
With community health metrics related to COVID-19 now in the red category, Guilford County Schools announced today that it is delaying the return of more students in pre-kindergarten through second grade originally planned for tomorrow.
The decision was made based on the recommendation made earlier this afternoon by Guilford County public health officials, who indicated that updated community health data shows that students and staff would face the “highest possible risk of transmission in schools,” according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
According to Iulia Vann, director of the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, said that the number of cases per 100,000 persons as well as the number of new cases per 100,000 persons within the last 14 days in the county both signaled higher levels of community spread, while the county’s daily COVID-19 positivity rates and hospitalization rates were not improving.
Last week, the school system released a revised plan for reopening schools for in-person learning, which included students in pre-kindergarten through second grade returning for in-person learning five days a week starting on Tuesday.
Superintendent Dr. Sharon Contreras said GCS will decide on Friday whether or not students in pre-K through second grade can return to the classroom on Monday, Oct. 26.
“We understand that this is frustrating for our parents, students and staff, who have worked so hard to have schools ready for students tomorrow,” Contreras said. “This is frustrating for us as well. However, we rely on our public health partners, and when public health says the risk of transmission is in its highest category with no signs of improvement, as educators, we’re going to listen.”
Students in grades three through five are expected to return to the classroom on Nov. 4 or 5 depending on if their school was used as a polling place.
Middle school students and certain vulnerable student populations in grades 9-12 are to return on Nov. 12.
High school students are not scheduled to return until January.