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DHHS Identifies School Cluster

Posted on 05/14/2021

Bladen County Schools has been notified by the Bladen County Health department that Bladenboro Primary School has been identified as having a Covid cluster. Earlier this week the school notified all those identified as being a close contact to any of the positive individuals. Additionally, any class or grade level affected by the cluster have been placed on 10-day quarantine as determined by the local health department. The school has taken necessary steps to mitigate any additional exposure, to include disinfecting and sanitizing the building and classrooms. No additional steps by parents need to be taken and identified students may return to school.

A cluster in a child care or school setting as defined by NC DHHS is a minimum of five confirmed diagnostic cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.

A cluster is considered over if there is not evidence of continued transmission within the setting. This is measured as 28 days after the latest date of onset in a symptomatic person or the latest date of specimen collection in an asymptomatic person, whichever is later. If another case is detected in a child care or school setting after a cluster is declared over, the cluster is not reopened. If additional cases are subsequently reported and a new cluster exists, it will be reported as a second, new cluster in that setting.

COVID-19 case and cluster investigations are conducted by local health departments. Time is required to determine whether a given COVID-19 case is associated with a child care or school setting, gather follow-up information, and enter it into NC COVID. Thus, data included on the local health department and NC DHHS data dashboards may differ from data available through media and other sources.