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6 Iredell County schools switching to virtual learning after widespread quarantines

Iredell-Statesville Schools said nearly 60% of the East Iredell Middle School student body was in quarantine.

IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. — Six schools in the Iredell-Statesville Schools district are operating on a remote or virtual schedule after an increase of COVID-19 cases as well as close contact quarantines, according to the district.

The impacted schools are East Iredell Middle School, West Iredell Middle School, Lakeshore Middle School, North Iredell High School, Central Elementary School and Scotts Elementary.

The school's transition to remote learning will be immediate and last through Sept. 10, when the district will re-evaluate the situation.

Iredell-Statesville Schools said nearly 60% of students at East Iredell Middle are sick or may have been exposed to COVID-19. 

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The Iredell-Statesville Board of Education voted 4-2 Tuesday to make masks mandatory in schools, reversing an earlier decision that made face coverings optional. East Iredell Middle School was among a handful of schools in the district that made masks mandatory before the vote due to COVID-19 cases within the school. 

"We are hopeful that the mandated mask policy will allow us to get back into the classrooms and reduce the spread of COVID as well as the number of close contacts. When individuals aren't masked or vaccinated, the quarantine rules inhibit our ability to keep kids in classrooms," Chief of Strategic Planning and Student Services Boen Nutting said. "While our community is utterly divided on the topic of masks, I believe that most of us agree that students need to be in the classroom. That's our primary goal."

Hello Knights - You may have received a message sent out earlier from the district; like Central Elementary we at East...

Posted by East Iredell Middle School on Wednesday, September 1, 2021

According to the CDC's COVID-19 data tracker, all 100 North Carolina counties have high community transmission. Iredell County's latest positivity rate was 14.92% with 1,090 active cases. The CDC reports that 46.1% of eligible adults in Iredell County are fully vaccinated. 

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and state health leaders have strongly encouraged masks in schools but haven't issued a mandate. Dr. Mandy Cohen, secretary for the Department of Health and Human Services, said the recommendation was made because most school-aged children are too young to be vaccinated at this time. 

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