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

Iredell-Statesville, Gaston Schools Hold COVID-19 Vaccine Events For Staff

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Atrium Health
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Starting this week, North Carolina teachers and other school staff members can get COVID-19 vaccines.

North Carolina teachers and other school personnel are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, regardless of age, starting Wednesday. Iredell-Statesville Schools and Gaston County Schools are offering mass vaccine events for employees on opening day.

Both districts have held in-person classes since August, even as other districts in the region relied on remote instruction for part of the school year.

Boen Nutting, communications director for Iredell-Statesville Schools, says that’s one reason her district wanted to make sure employees had a chance to be vaccinated quickly.

"Our teachers have been real troupers, so we feel like it was the least that we could do to try to set this up for them and make this easy for them to get the shot if they chose to do so," she said Tuesday.

About 1,300 ISS employees are scheduled to get the vaccine at a drive-through event at Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville. That’s just over half the district’s workforce. Nutting said some employees may be getting vaccinated through their health providers, and some are clearly opting not to get the shot.

Nutting said ISS partnered with the Iredell Health System to host the event, and 25 school nurses will be among the district volunteers helping with it. Staff will be paid for the time it takes to drive to Statesville and get vaccinated.

More than 1,000 Gaston County school employees, private school staff and child care workers are expected to get vaccinated at a three-day event that starts Wednesday at CaroMont Health in Gastonia. About 3,000 people ages 65 and older are also expected to get vaccinated at the event.

Gaston County Schools spokesperson Todd Hagans says the district has about 3,800 employees. He's not sure what percentage of them will be vaccinated this week because the Wednesday total for educators includes private schools and child care centers.

Gaston school officials noted that the vaccination clinic was scheduled to coincide with the district's weekly remote learning day, which makes it easier for staff to get to appointments.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools officials say they’re working with the Mecklenburg County Health Department and the Atrium and Novant health care systems to get employees scheduled for vaccines — but not at one big event. CMS, which has more than 19,000 employees, says staff can get time off for vaccine appointments.

On Tuesday, CMS notified employees that up to 300 appointments a day will be available to employees at a vaccination clinic in east Charlotte, beginning Thursday and ending March 2. Another 450 spots are available at a one-time event at McClintock Middle School on Saturday.

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