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Education
An in-depth look at our region's emerging economic, social, political and cultural identity.

CMS Tells Staff To Use Self-Screening For COVID-19

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is using an email symptom survey to clear employees for work.

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CMS emailed employees Wednesday to say they should take their own temperature at home, then respond to a daily email link that asks them to indicate whether they’ve had symptoms, been close to someone who has COVID-19 or had a positive diagnosis. If they answer no to all questions, they’re cleared to work.

Schools reopened Thursday for faculty to prepare for the Aug. 17 start of remote instruction.

The state's guidelines on opening schools require public schools to conduct temperature checks and symptom screening of everyone entering school buildings.

The CMS email says that its electronic approach meets state screening requirements and that temperatures can be checked at school for those who can’t do it at home. It also includes a link to a video demonstration.

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Credit @ArdreyKellHS
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@ArdreyKellHS
Employees report to Ardrey Kell High for the first teacher work day of 2020-21 Thursday.

At the time of publication, CMS  had not responded to WFAE's request for an explanation of when and why the district decided to do screenings this way. It's also not clear how many schools are relying on the electronic symptom screener. Ardrey Kell High in south Charlotte tweeted a photo of people getting temperature checks as they entered the building Thursday morning.

Over the next few days, teachers and other school employees across North Carolina begin their preparation for the Aug. 17 opening day for students. CMS, Cabarrus, Mooresville and Hickory schools have opted to open with remote learning for students, as have several large charter schools in the Charlotte area. Other nearby districts are bringing students in on rotating schedules to allow for safe distancing.

Gov. Roy Cooper has extended Phase 2 restrictions through Sept. 11, in part because health officials want to see how school reopenings affect the spread of COVID-19. 

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Wednesday's state report on COVID-19 included a look at which districts are opening remotely or with students reporting in person.

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What questions do you have about the coronavirus? What has this experience been like for you? Share your questions below.

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