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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

New COVID-19 Cluster Reported In Gastonia As Community Spread Hits Schools

Bess distance class.jpg
Ann Doss Helms
A socially distanced classroom in Gaston County Schools, which remains open for in-person classes.

Gaston County’s Webb Street School has been declared the site of a COVID-19 cluster for the second time this school year. The state list posted Friday afternoon shows seven staff cases and one student case at the school for students with disabilities.

Clusters are defined as five or more cases that appear to be linked to the school. Webb Street was Gaston County’s first cluster in October. Schools are removed from the cluster list once they go 28 days without a case, but can be added again if there's a new outbreak.

Gaston County continues to hold in-person classes.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County decided this week to shift to all-remote classes because of rising community spread. The state’s county alert system now lists all counties surrounding Mecklenburg as red-zone hot spots, which means a critical level of community spread. Mecklenburg is orange, for substantial community spread.

Iredell-Statesville Schools, which also remains open for in-person classes, introduced a new COVID-19 reporting system Friday evening. In a news release, the district reported that it had 19 employees and 19 students who tested positive this week and were in school within 48 hours of developing symptoms. The district reports that 30 staff and 231 students are now quarantined because of school exposure, and that 17 schools had cases.

ISS also reports that another 45 employees and 239 students are quarantined because they have had community contact with someone who has COVID-19.

CMS will update its COVID-19 dashboard early Monday afternoon with numbers through 6 p.m. Friday.

CMS has reported cases at 136 of its 176 schools since October, but none has been classified as a cluster.

Schools in the region that are currently on the cluster list based on earlier outbreaks include Maiden High in Catawba County Schools; Shuford Elementary in Newton-Conover Schools; South Elementary in Mooresville Graded Schools; Covenant Day School, a private school in Matthews; Steele Creek Preparatory Academy, a charter school in Charlotte; and Metrolina Christian Academy, a private school in Indian Trail.