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COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary

GRANITE QUARRY – Families have been notified about five linked COVID-19 cases at a local elementary school.

On Tuesday, a cluster of COVID-19 infections was identified at Granite Quarry Elementary School by Rowan County Health Department, epidemiologically linking five student cases. The district sent a letter to families informing them of the cluster on Tuesday and District Director of Marketing and Communications Tracey Lewis confirmed the cluster at the school on Thursday.

That means the cases were in the same place at the same time and fits with a likely time of exposure. More than five cases could show up in one school, but if the cases are not linked they will not be deemed a cluster.

Last week, the district told the Post there were five positives at Knox Middle School and 105 quarantines, but no cluster.

The school district  contacted the students and others who could potentially affected. The school will continue its regular schedule. The state’s log of clusters in child care and school settings listed Granite Quarry’s cluster on Thursday. Those data points are updated on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Another cluster involving seven cases at Corriher-Lipe Middle School was identified in February.

The district reported record high quarantines and infections last week with 962 students staying home because of possible exposure and 42 confirmed infections. About 6.6% of the district’s student population was quarantined at the time.

The district has not been advised to close any grade levels or schools. School officials have said an increase in the number of infections and quarantines was expected in plan A. Students are in closer contact with each other — more easily meeting the criteria for exposure — and more likely to impact campuses when they do become infected, which increases the number of reported infections.

Other districts have suffered more clusters. Iredell County has a clusters in Mooresville High School, East Iredell Middle School and Woodland Heights Elementary School according to the state. Cabarrus County currently has clusters in Northwest Cabarrus Middle School and Robinson High School.

The state reports more than 50 clusters in schools and child care centers.

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