Alamance County Health Department has identified a COVID-19 cluster at South Graham Elementary School in Graham. Currently, nine (9) cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed at the facility. The confirmed cases are among staff, all whom are Alamance County residents. 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 appreciate the close working relationship we share with the Alamance County Health Department and appreciate their expertise and support for our schools, shared Superintendent Bruce Benson.” South Graham Elementary School staff and families have been notified about this situation per our established protocols. The areas of the school building where the identified individuals were present have already undergone a systematic cleaning and disinfection. The school is currently closed for the Thanksgiving holiday. Operations at the school will continue as usual after the holiday break and the district will continue to follow all health and safety protocols in place.” 

“Alamance Burlington School System collaborates closely with the health department and this cluster was identified quickly, we are thankful with this partnership to keep staff and children throughout the school system safe,” stated Alexandria Rimmer Interim Health Director. “We will continue offering guidance and support to mitigate the outbreak.”

Alamance County Health Department identified its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on March 20. Since then, a total of 7293 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the community. Of those confirmed cases, 6432 have been released from isolation and 744 remain active and in isolation. Included in those active cases, 27 individuals are receiving care at a hospital. Sadly, there have been 117 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.

With COVID-19 cases and deaths at a historic high, Public Health officials are asking residents to find alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving and Black Friday events that will lessen the spread of the virus. The best way to slow the spread is to avoid travel, in-person gatherings with people outside your household and going to crowded events, like standing in crowded lines at Black Friday sales. Using online alternatives to connect with family members outside your household and to shop for Black Friday deals will help prevent what could be a super spreader holiday.