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Two Schools Closed In Burke County Due To COVID-19 Cases, Masks Mandatory Beginning Today
Photo courtesy of www.burke.k12.nc.us

Two Schools Closed In Burke County Due To COVID-19 Cases, Masks Mandatory Beginning Today

Two schools in Burke County have been closed temporarily due to COVID-19. The Burke County Public Schools announced Monday (January 10) that it is closing North Liberty School in Morganton through Tuesday, January 18. The decision to close North Liberty is as a result of more than 50% of staff and students being out due to COVID-19 cases and quarantines.

On Friday (January 7), the school system closed Hallyburton Academy due to COVID-19 cases. School officials hope classes will resume at Hallyburton this Thursday (January 13). The Burke County Register of Deeds Office is closed for the week due to COVID issues as well.

The Board of Education voted Monday to make masks mandatory for all students and staff starting today, (January 11) and to also look at alternatives to contact tracing. The item was brought up due to the high quarantine numbers the school district is experiencing from exposures of COVID-19.

The vote came after a lengthy discussion that followed a presentation of the current COVID-19 data in the school system. The item was discussed for more than an hour at Monday’s meeting. The vote was 4-2 in favor of requiring masks, Chair Wendi Craven, Vice-Chair Aaron Johnson, Jane Sohovich, and Don Hemstreet voted in favor while Leslie Taylor and Tiana Sims dissented. The board will re-evaluate the mask policy in two weeks.

Photo courtesy of www.burke.k12.nc.us

The board also voted to make Tuesday, January 18 a teacher workday. The board hopes that adding this workday after Monday’s (January 17) Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday will alleviate some of the current strain on the district due COVID-19 cases.

[WACB’s Rick Gilbert contributed to this story]