IREDELL COUNTY, NC — For the third time this week, health officials cautioned teachers, staff and students of an Iredell County school to be aware of coronavirus symptoms after a person associated with West Iredell High School tested positive for COVID-19.
County health officials said that after contact tracing with the individual at West Iredell High, it was determined that they were not in close contact with school employees or students.
All school families and staff members at West Iredell High were notified, and the school received a deep cleaning Thursday, according to Boen Nutting, spokesperson for Iredell-Statesville Schools. "Due to following established I-SS protocol, including proper social distancing and mask wearing, no student or adult has been deemed a 'close contact' to the individual that tested positive, and school will continue as scheduled tomorrow."
The Statesville school is the third in the county with confirmed coronavirus reported this week. On Monday, 159 seventh grade students at Third Creek Middle School in Statesville began the new school year with remote learning after an individual connected to the school tested positive for COVID-19. Students in sixth and eighth grades at the school, however, were set to continue on the modified in-person schedule.
Two days later, an individual connected to Lake Norman Elementary in Mooresville also tested positive for COVID-19, prompting a warning to parents from county health officials to monitor for symptoms. Like West Iredell High, the circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 confirmation did not prompt a change in classes at the elementary school, according to school officials.
COVID-19 symptoms, which may appear between two and 14 days, may include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea and a new loss of taste or smell, Iredell County Health Department said in a statement.
"We know that COVID-19 can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms," county health officials said in a letter to school parents. "Employees and students should not come to school if they develop any of the above symptoms."
As of Thursday afternoon, 2,266 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in Iredell County, an increase of at least 40 known cases in the span of a day, according to ICHD. At least 23 Iredell County residents had died and 12 remained hospitalized.
Iredell County health officials are grouping cases into three regions of the county: North, Central and South. Here's a breakdown of where cases have been confirmed as of 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20:
North Region (zip codes 27020, 27028, 27055, 28625, 28634, 28636, 28660, 28689 and 28678)
478 cases (up from 445 cases reported Aug. 14)
Central Region (zip codes 27013, 28166, 28677)
921 cases (up from 837 cases reported Aug. 14)
South Region (zip codes 28036, 28115, 28117, 28125)
867 cases (up from 818 cases reported Aug. 14)