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UPDATE to North Drive Elementary COVID-19 cluster

After careful consideration, Wayne County Public Schools has determined that North Drive Elementary staff can return to campus on Wednesday, October 21. Students will transition back to Plan B on Thursday, October 22.

"In making this decision, the district administration and health officials closely examined each case, including when the last time a person who had tested positive for COVID-19 was on the school campus," states Dr. James Merrill, WCPS interim superintendent. "It is important to note that High Standard Cleaning completed its second deep cleaning of the building over the weekend. When staff and students return, it will have been more than two weeks since the last reported case of a positive individual being on campus."  

The district administration would like to extend its appreciation to families and staff for their flexibility during the school's precautionary transition to Plan C.


October 15, 2020

Today, Wayne County Public Schools (WCPS) reported its first COVID-19 cluster. The cluster, which occurred at North Drive Elementary, involves four staff members and two students, none of whom have been on campus since last week. Out of an abundance of caution the school will be transitioned to Plan C, full remote instruction, while the district monitors for further cases.
“The school had four reported cases between October 6 and October 9. Today, we learned about two additional cases. Based on contract tracing, we believe these cases are connected,” states Dr. James Merrill, WCPS superintendent.
Last weekend, North Drive Elementary was deep cleaned by a professional cleaning service after the district started seeing a higher than usual number of cases over the course of a week. A second deep clean will occur before any staff or students return to the building.
As part of its COVID-19 response protocols, WCPS reported the cluster to the local health department. All recommended guidelines from the NC Department of Health and Human Services are being followed. In a child care or school setting, NCDHHS defines a COVID-19 cluster as a minimum of five laboratory confirmed cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.
North Drive Elementary is the second school WCPS has transitioned from Plan B to Plan C due to COVID-19. Last week, Brogden Primary was transitioned to Plan C until October 20, although it was not considered a COVID-19 cluster. In both situations, WCPS made the decision to transition to Plan C out of an abundance of caution and then notified the health department of its precautionary actions. 
Learn more about the district's COVID-19 response protocols at:
View the WCPS COVID-19 Dashboard at:

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