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BOE Meeting Update - Face Coverings Optional, District Will Participate in Parent Choice "Test-to-Stay" Study

Top 2 Things You Need to Know From This Message

  1. Face-Coverings will be optional inside all CCS facilities for all staff, students, and visitors beginning 12/7/2021 until it is reviewed again at the next meeting on January 25, 2022.
  2. The BOE approved district participation in the Parent Choice "Test-to-Stay" Study to Keep More Students, Staff in School

During this evening's Catawba County Board of Education (BOE) meeting, the board approved a motion to make face-coverings optional in all CCS facilities and for all students, staff, and visitors effective December 7, 2021. This new policy will remain in place until it is reviewed again at the next BOE meeting on January 24 ,2022.

Face masks covering the nose and mouth will continue to be required on all Catawba County Schools buses per the current CDC order.

The BOE also approved district participation in the ABC Science Collaborative/Duke University Health System study, “Test to Stay in School: COVID-19 Testing Following Exposure in K-12 School Communities.” 

Participation in this parent choice research program will enable students and staff to remain in school after having close contact with a positive COVID-19 case, provided they are tested for COVID-19 at pre-specified intervals, have no symptoms, continue proper masking at school, and tests remain negative. 

“With the optional choice for our parents to participate in this "Test to Stay" study, we have another opportunity to change our quarantine practices, even with optional masking. This will enable us to keep more students and staff in school during a close exposure," explains Dr. Matt Stover, Superintendent. "With parent consent, the child can immediately take a Covid-19 test and remain at school by following the study protocols.”

"Throughout this school year, one of our largest challenges has been keeping students and staff in school and balancing parent choice and safety protocols given to us by NCDHHS," Stover notes. "The “Test-to-Stay” program will provide our school community with a great opportunity to have a win for all stakeholders.”  

Parental consent to participate is mandatory. If the parent chooses for the student to not participate in the study, he/she will proceed with the normal quarantine.

The district plans to launch the study on Friday, December 10. Look for more information coming soon!