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Schools reopen despite COVID rise

Despite a surge of 97 COVID-19 cases in one week, Charlotte County Public Schools (CCPS) reopened its doors to students Tuesday, Jan. 19 for a restart of hybrid in-person learning.

Robbie Mason

CCPS Superintendent Robbie Mason said staffing remains a critical issue for the school system. He said while school administration recognizes that community COVID numbers are increasing, data has shown that schools have been effective in mitigating COVID risk through continued mask-wearing, social distancing, and proper disinfecting in the schools.

“Our hybrid instructional model was very effective in keeping students and staff healthy in the fall and we believe that continuing those practices will allow us to do the same right now,” Mason said, “We must have enough healthy staff available to work in-person to keep our schools open. We need to do everything in our power to allow students to have the option of receiving in-person instruction as long as we can effectively mitigate the risk.”

Mason said they expect in-person numbers to remain manageable which will allow us to keep the distancing necessary to avoid outbreaks.

With the realization of how quickly this can change, Mason encourages all parents to have an emergency childcare plan should schools return to fully remote instruction due to positive staff cases and/or required staff quarantines.