UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Leaders in Union County are continuing a push to see contact tracing and quarantine requirements due to COVID-19 end for North Carolina public school students.
The county's board of education and board of commissioners held a joint meeting Tuesday, Jan. 25, and adopted a resolution saying both boards are reaffirming their support to have the measures stopped, regardless of future action taken by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS).
According to the resolution, both boards are "planning changes to our approach to school quarantine and contact tracing when we determine that cases in Union County are declining in the current surge."
Tuesday's meeting comes a little more than a month after both boards voted to support a resolution calling on the NCDHHS to end contact tracing and quarantining protocols on or before Jan. 19. NCDHHS has established guidelines and recommendations for districts to follow across the state when dealing with COVID-19.
In the newest resolution adopted, the boards recognized "there have been subsequent updates to the state's Strong Schools Toolkit that reduces timelines for quarantine and isolation, and we applaud the directional shift in policy and tone these changes reflect."
The resolution then reads, "however, there continues to be no end in sight for quarantine and contact tracing or even the prospect of it from the NCDHHS."
Officials during Tuesday's meeting mentioned the new surge of COVID-19 cases is due to the omicron variant. They also reiterated that the virus "isn't going away" and that "we are going to have to learn to live with it in a way that doesn't unreasonably risk our children's education and mental health," according to the resolution.
Members of both boards are expected to change the approach to school quarantine and contact tracing procedures when they determine cases in Union County decline in the current surge.
The changes are expected to be developed in the coming weeks and will be provided to the public.
"Our focus is going to be on developing a collaborative approach that allows children to stay in school if they are not positive or symptomatic," a portion of the resolution read.
WCNC Charlotte has reached out to NCDHHS for a statement about resolution.