STANLY COUNTY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — Two Stanly County schools will be temporarily shut down as they’re experiencing ‘high incidences of respiratory illnesses.’

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Aquadale Elementary and South Stanly Middle School, located in Norwood, said after collaborating with local and state health officials, both schools would be closed to mitigate the spread of illness and move to remote learning.  

As of Tuesday, October 25, 2022:

  • 27% of students were absent at Aquadale Elementary School
  • 26% of students were absent at South Stanly Middle School

“Protocols are being put into place in conjunction with guidance from the State Epidemiologist,” Stanly County Schools said on Tuesday.

“We did notice when we pulled in that it was very quiet. It was kind of a strange feeling, but we’re always on time, and we were one of the only kids walking up to the school,” said Lisa Ruble, a grandparent at Aquadale Elementary.

Aquadale Elementary’s Fall Fest is also being postponed. Officials said a new date is forthcoming.

“Student work will be available by teachers on October 26 and 27, and school will continue to be closed on October 28 and 31. The schools and buses will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected during this time,” Aquadale Elementary said on Tuesday. “We understand the impact this will have on students, staff, and families and appreciate your support and understanding as we put the health and safety of our students and staff as our top priority.”

Stanly County Schools confirmed students could return to both schools on Tuesday, Nov. 1.

North Carolina has seen increased levels of influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) this year compared to the same time in recent previous years, according to data reported to the department.

“If there’s a flu virus going around it’s probably best that they do shut down,” said teacher Rachel Temple. “Being a teacher, they don’t have a lot of classroom supplies for cleaning. We have what is provided but the flu is definitely going to go around.”

These trends are similar to what is being seen nationally. NCDHHS tracks influenza, RSV and other respiratory viruses that may be circulating and publishes weekly to our Respiratory Virus Surveillance Dashboard. (Due to a technical issue, our dashboard was not updated last week, but all updated and weekly numbers will be provided in this week’s update on Wednesday.)

NDCHHS is aware that a high numbers of respiratory illness in staff and students at Aquadale Elementary in Stanly County has led school officials to temporarily close the school. For more information, we would refer you to the school and the local health department.

North Carolina Dept. of Health and Human Services