While COVID-19 infection remains high in Davidson County Schools, data shows signs masks have helped

Piedmont Triad News

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Two weeks into its mask mandate and COVID-19 infection rates remain higher than hoped for Davidson County School campuses.  

Tuesday evening school board members met for the first time since the mandate went into effect. Leaders explained that the number of COVID cases has been linked, mostly, to student interactions outside of school. 

Superintendent Dr. Emily Lipe said, “Some transmission takes place, certainly anytime you’re together. Our students spend time together outside of schools as well.” 

Per the district’s COVID-19 dashboard 360 students tested positive within the district between August 28th-September 3rd.

That’s compared to the 100 cases seen during the first week of school, which led to the mandate. 

48 educators were also confirmed to have contracted the disease.  

Dr. Lipe said, the numbers have not trended in the best direction, but is not off track from what was expected. “Our increase there is in line with the trends we are seeing across the county and across the state.” 

She, along with experts, believes the numbers will begin to curve downward within the next two weeks.  

Where the district believes masks have made the greatest impact has been with quarantined individuals.  

Two weeks ago, there were more than 1,400 individuals within the district who had to quarantine, however, last week that number was 651.  

The district will reconvene later in September to determine if they will continue the mandate.  

During Tuesday’s meeting, parents were given their first chance to speak their minds to school board members regarding the masks mandate.  

Six parents spoke, with consisted of individuals who were mostly opposed to the mandate. Roughly ten other individuals attempted to get into the meeting to speak, however, they were denied entrance for refusing to wear a mask, or not showing proper medical exemption forms.  

Of those parents who spoke one father said his son, who battles asthma, has had difficulties learning in the classroom because of the mask. “Put one on my son, he looks at me. He said daddy, I don’t like this, it’s hard to breathe. He’s sitting there touching it, fidgeting with it. He’s not going to get an education.”

Others threatened the school board members with the notion of running against them next election season.

One educator, Tonia Maxcy, also spoke at the meeting. She challenged parents to remain calm during future discussions of their children wearing masks inside classrooms.  

“We are not a weak community, quite the contrary. Davidson County is a strong crowd and family-oriented community. The values here are why many join this community. We don’t have to think alike, or feel like, or even be passionate about the same things. But one thing we should all agree on is that we love and want the very best for our children. “ 

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