WCPSS, UNC among schools loosening COVID-19 rules

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Sunday, August 7, 2022
WCPSS, UNC among schools loosening COVID-19 rules
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The Wake County School District has already approved a round of COVID-19 changes for the upcoming school year.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County School District has already approved a round of COVID-19 changes for the upcoming school year.

The district is loosening requirements.

Staffers won't have to report their vaccination status, social distancing will be gone, and contact tracing is no longer recommended.

Vaccination numbers among children are increasing. The latest data shows that 74% of children ages 5-11 have at least one dose and 69% of students 12-17 are done with the initial series.

Felise Knight is a Wake County parent and founder of Alta Community Action Association, a nonprofit that focuses on improving public safety.

She's backing some of the COVID-19 changes for the upcoming school year.

"Maybe relaxing some of the social distancing a bit because pretty much everywhere you go now that's relaxed, so I'm kind of OK with that. I am still an advocate for masks, especially in close quarters for kids, and I'm an advocate for showing the vaccination (card)," said Knight.

All Wake schools will have at-home tests available for students and staff. They'll be handed out upon request.

NCAE Wake President Christina Spears said of the changes, "With increased positive cases for new variants and concerns regarding other viruses and infectious diseases, folks in our communities who are immuno-compromised, and schools being at the heart of our communities, it's important for folks to consider how to mitigate the spread using methods we know work."

John Chavis Memorial Park is holding a Back to School March in downtown Raleigh on Aug. 13. It will start at 10 a.m. at Moore Square Park and end at Chavis.

Director Grady Bussey said the gathering is a chance for families to learn more about the resources available during another transitional year.

"When it comes to COVID, a lot of people have been affected and children have been affected the most. What we want to create is normalcy and let them see that there are opportunities for them to be involved, be active," said Bussey.

Over at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, students and staffers have also been given updated health guidance.

Masking continues to be encouraged yet optional in all university buildings but is required in health care settings, including UNC Health, Campus Health, the Employee Occupational Health Clinic, the Student Stores Pharmacy and any other patient clinics or clinical simulation areas on campus.

Masks are also required on university transit services.

Vaccines are readily available on campus. Students do not have to disclose their vaccination status.

State employees are eligible for eight hours of leave if they attest to receiving a booster shot.

There will not be mandatory or voluntary testing for asymptomatic people on campus but testing for symptomatic students continues to be available at Campus Health. Find out full details about UNC's policy here.