Superintendent Paul Nichols issued a statement regarding the recent increase in COVID cases in Mecklenburg County in a new Loom video that can be found on the MCPS Facebook page.
In the video aired Monday, September 28, Nichols states that, ““Unfortunately, [Mecklenburg County is] appearing in the red again…Red is the point we had stated that we have enough cases in the county for the spread to be considered significant and that we would be looking at to determine if schools need to be closed.”
He continued, “The numbers in the county have been low and trending downward for the past two weeks. We were expecting that number to continue in that way. However, there was a very recent outbreak at a confined location that today caused Mecklenburg to move into the red. When I say confined location—I am not in the position to identify what that location is—but it is a place where the persons that are there are there all the time; they’re not getting out into the community… and so they’re not transmitting it to other persons. Outside of that location, the numbers for the county are still very low and continuing to trend downward.”
Nichols noted that due to the most recent outbreak’s central location, “Mecklenburg County Public Schools students and staff are not in danger from that particular outbreak. We are watching the numbers as we get them from our emergency services department in the county to see what’s happening in the rest of the county. We feel confident that we can keep our schools open for the next two days to keep the education moving forward as it needs to be. I will assure you that we will continue to monitor the numbers as we move forward.”
The Superintendent also stated that “Two days of an increase in a specific location not engaging our students is not enough to close our schools so that we can have consistent education going on. I anticipate that by this coming Wednesday we will back in the orange…and we will continue to see it move down. We have looked at the projections from the medical professionals forecasting what is happening in Virginia and in Mecklenburg, and fortunately Virginia is in one of the best positions for the whole country. Many states have seen increases, but Virginia is low, practically in the yellow for the whole state.”