UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A group of local doctors are pushing back against school leaders in Union County. But, they’re not just doctors, they all have children in Union County Public Schools.
Three of the doctors spoke to WCCB News about their concerns. They’re a part of 40 concerned physicians who live in Union County. All of them are outraged following the school board’s decision to end contact tracing and allow thousands of students and staff in quarantine to return to the classroom.
“It feels like some gas had been thrown on the ground, and somebody it a flame. It feels like our schools are on fire,” says Pediatrician Dr. Ankita Modi.
“We’re sending these kids home each afternoon coming from an environment with no precautions against Covid into a county that has 46 percent vaccination rate?” says Dr. Kathryn Shaw, an Emergency Medicine Physician.
“It is so concerning, neither of my children are vaccinated. I plan to get them vaccinated. A fair number of kids in their class are wearing masks, but we have no control over it,” says Dr. Susan Antle, a local OBGYN.
The doctors say they called, emailed, even sent letters with more than 60 signatures to the board at the beginning of the school year requesting specific information about safety protocols in schools.
According to UCPS, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has reached out to the school board about Monday’s vote.
“The Union County Board of Education received a letter from DHSS Secretary Mandy Cohen late this evening. The board is reviewing the letter. When a response is available, it will be shared publicly,” says Tahira Stalberte with UCPS.
The district sent this statement following the board’s vote Monday.
“Moving forward, we want to make all students, parents, staff, and community members aware of the commitments by UCPS and its Board of Education to provide a sound basic education to our students.”
- UCPS will continue to report positive cases to the local health department as required by law.
- UCPS will continue to isolate students and staff members if they have COVID-19 symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19.
- UCPS will communicate with parents when there is a positive case in their child’s school.
- UCPS use the dashboard to communicate with parents when there is a positive case in their child’s school
- UCPS will support the efforts of the local health department in its effort to contact trace when a positive case in the school is reported. It is our understanding that the health department will contact trace when there are positive cases in schools and will contact parents as well.
- UCPS will continue to support all parents, students and staff members in their decision on whether to wear a face covering.
- UCPS will continue to follow any mandated control measures, including quarantine orders, implemented by those state and local health officials that have the authority to do so.
Read UCPS full statement here:
The Union County Board of Education received a letter from DHSS Secretary Mandy Cohen late this evening. The board is reviewing the letter. When a response is available, it will be shared publicly.