Press release from Buncombe County Schools:
Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS), in conjunction with Buncombe County Schools (BCS), has been monitoring the status of lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 associated with Oakley Elementary School. To date, five staff members associated with the school have been confirmed COVID-19 positive, meeting the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) definition of a “cluster.” A “cluster” is defined as five or more epidemiologically linked cases over a 14-day period. No other staff or students have been identified as close contacts related to this cluster. A close contact is defined as anyone who was less than 6 feet from the positive case for a cumulative 15 minutes or more.
The process of contact tracing was performed through BCHHS and all close contacts have been identified and notified individually by contact tracers, who have provided those individuals with guidance regarding testing and quarantine. No students came into contact with these individuals. Due to privacy requirements, we cannot release the names of the individuals or details that may identify them.
As part of BCS protocols and based on guidance from BCHHS, the area where the staff members worked has already undergone a systematic cleaning and disinfection. Operations at Oakley Elementary will continue as usual, and we will keep you apprised of further updates.
Oakley Elementary staff and families were made aware of this cluster via a phone call and email the evening of October 5, per our established protocols.
BCS will adhere to all public health guidance and recommendations to keep our staff and students safe. Furthermore, we need BCS staff, students, and school community to do their part at school and at home to follow the 3 Ws: wait 6 feet apart and maintain social distance from others outside of their household, wear face coverings, and wash/sanitize hands often. These public health measures are the best ways to protect against COVID-19 and the goal of these actions is to protect our students and staff and get back to learning and school activities as soon as possible.
Anyone who is concerned that they may have symptoms of COVID-19 or that they may meet criteria to be tested can follow up with their healthcare provider or at the Buncombe County Community Testing Sites. Please call the Buncombe Ready Team at (828) 419-0095 or complete the BC self-checker online at https://www.buncombecounty.org/covid-19/default.aspx?redirect=bcready.