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CMS: Reported COVID cases among students drop over winter break

Kids still caught COVID over winter break, according to CMS data released Tuesday. But they reported a fraction of the cases versus when students were in person.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools relied on parents to alert them of students with confirmed cases of COVID-19 over winter break. Numbers released Tuesday showed case counts were much lower than previous recent reports.

According to the CMS Metrics Dashboard, 27 students reported testing positive over the 16-day period from Dec. 19 through Jan. 3. In addition, 69 staff members reported testing positive.

The data showed 48 schools had at least one case; one school, Metro School, had a cluster of 5 or more related cases, district officials reported.

The reported cases among students were much higher when some children were still in school the week of December 12th. According to a previous CMS data report, 62 students tested positive the last week before winter break, compared to the 27 that reported positive tests during vacation.

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Chief School Performance Officer Kathy Elling said Tuesday that the district relied on school staff, including principals, to collect and report positive cases over winter break.

“As they were notified of cases both for staff and students, they reported them per our protocol,” Elling said.

A CMS media relations specialist said Tuesday that families were expected to self-report cases, and the school system remains confident in the validity of the data.

“We have seen nothing that indicates families are not reporting accurate data,” Yaviri Escalera said.

Case counts within the Mecklenburg County community overall for the same period were in the red/critical category. According to the dashboard, there were 480 cases for every 100,000 people. An ideal rate would be fewer than 10 cases.

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