Entire NC School's 4th Grade In Quarantine Weeks After Opening

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 
School Commended By Mike Pence For Reopening Now In COVID Quarantine
Mike Pence/Twitter and Thales Academy/Facebook

Fourth graders are quarantining for 14 days after a student at Thales Academy tested positive for COVID-19

Thales Academy in Wake Forest, North Carolina, is the latest school that has been immediately affected by COVID-19 upon reopening. Thales Academy has 10 campuses total, eight of which are in North Carolina. Vice President Mike Pence, along with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, visited a Thales campus in Apex just last week, touting the school for reopening during the pandemic. And now the entirety of the fourth grade must quarantine for two weeks after a student tested positive for the virus.

The student was asymptomatic, according to ABC News, and was at school as recently as last Friday, July 31. The school was notified on Monday that the child was infected after having contact with a family member. Teachers who were also exposed are asking to quarantine as well.

On July 29, Pence and DeVos gave the school a PR pat on the back for reopening — and were photographed not wearing masks during the visit. “We’re here today because to open up America, we’ve got to open up America’s schools and Thales Academy is literally in the forefront,” Pence said. “We really do believe that it’s in the best interest of our children to be back in the classroom.”

The Thales school year started on July 20 with in-person instruction. The school did offer parents two options for the year: fully online or fully in-person. According to WTVD, students had their temperatures taken and completed a medical questionnaire after they were dropped off on the first day.

Because the Thales Academy network is private, the schools don’t have to adhere to Gov. Roy Cooper’s school reopening guidelines. Gov. Cooper says schools that choose to reopen should operate in person at no more than 50% capacity and buses at no more than 33%.

“Thales Academy will continue thorough cleanings throughout the school day,” school spokesperson Holly Clark wrote in an email to The News & Observer. “Thales Academy is committed to numerous safety protocols and will continue to work to keep students, staff and families as safe and healthy as possible.”

Per The News & Observer, the Thales Academy location in Raleigh closed temporarily during the first week of school after a visiting staff member tested positive for COVID-19. A kindergartener at the Thales Knightdale campus also tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but the school spokeswoman said that particular school will “continue normal operations.”

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