BURLINGTON – Alamance County Health Department has identified a COVID-19 cluster at Highland Elementary in Burlington and EM Yoder Elementary in Mebane. Currently, five (5) cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed among staff at Highland Elementary. At EM Yoder Elementary, six (6) cases have been confirmed among three (4) staff and two (2) children. The cases will be included on the biweekly Child Care and School Settings report for NC DHHS. NC DHHS defines a cluster as minimum of five laboratory-confirmed cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and plausible epidemiologic linkage between cases.

“We very much appreciate our close partnership with the Alamance County Health Department and always rely on their professional expertise and guidance for the health and safety of our students and staff, particularly during this unprecedented pandemic,” shared Superintendent Bruce Benson. “We have notified staff and families of our students at both schools about the cluster announcements per our established protocols and continue to reinforce the importance of all health and safety protocols we have in place. The areas of the school buildings where the identified individuals were present have already undergone a systematic cleaning and disinfection ensuring that our operations at the schools can continue.”

“Alamance County Health Department is in regular communication with Alamance-Burlington School System, so these clusters were identified and responded to quickly,” stated Health Director Tony Lo Giudice. “We will continue to offer guidance to ensure the safety of staff, children, and the community.”

Alamance County Health Department identified its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 20. Since then, a total of 9181 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the community. Of those confirmed cases, 8169 have been released from isolation and 888 remain active and in isolation. Included in those active cases, 60 individuals are receiving care at a hospital. Sadly, there have been 124 COVID-19 related deaths. COVID-related deaths include only patients who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, and who died without fully recovering from the disease.

COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in Alamance and surrounding counties. It is important to take steps to reduce your risks of contracting COVID-19, specifically wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distance and avoiding crowds, and washing your hands and cleaning commonly used surfaces regularly. During this holiday season, limit travel and limit physical contact with people who do not live in your household. The health of you, your loved ones, and the community are what matters.

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