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No evidence opening K-12 public schools is a factor in NC's increase in virus cases, state health officials say

State health leaders said there have been cases in schools but it the number of cases isn't contributing to the state's rise in Coronavirus cases.

RALEIGH, N.C. — State health officials said on Thursday there was no evidence that opening Kindergarten through 12th grade public schools has contributed to the recent rise in coronavirus cases across the state.

Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, state health director and chief medical officer, said in a NC Department of Public Instruction meeting that although cases are rising, "we are not seeing schools as a big driver of cases."

"In-school learning is the best for our children, but we need to be flexible," she said. While it does not seem opening schools has caused a huge increase in the state's cases, there still have been cases and clusters at schools in the state, Tilson acknowledged.

Cases in North Carolina: 285,661 lab-confirmed cases with 4,457 deaths. DHHS reported 2,859 new cases of coronavirus reported Thursday. The percentage of positive test results is averaging 7.4% over the last two weeks and increasing. NCDHHS is reporting 1,193 people hospitalized.

RELATED: CMS K-5 students return to in-person learning

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