Aug. 23, Gaston County children are set to go back to school, but even before doors open, over 100 children in the county were diagnosed with COVID Wednesday, reported WSOCTV. The county is west of Charlotte, N.C., and has a population of about 225,000 people.
Last weekend, Gaston County had 451 new COVID cases and 110 of those were school-aged children. So these 100 are in addition to the previous 110 just a week ago. North Carolina's daily COVID case average is around 4,899, according to the New York Times analysis.
The jump in numbers comes one month after Gaston County school board members decided that they wouldn't mandate masks and instead would leave it up to parents to decide whether or not their children would go to school protected.
The report explained that now any kids close to those children will miss their first days of school and be in isolation again.
"As you can imagine, we are very concerned with case counts this high and school starting in two weeks. If one of these positive children was not wearing a mask in their classroom, any child sitting within 6 feet, regardless of whether they were masked, would have to stay home from school for 2 weeks (unless they were vaccinated)," said the Gaston County Department of Health & Human Services in a statement.
The county said it wanted the public to be aware of the data as they make decisions about how best to protect their children and help them have a healthy and successful school year.
Last month, Gaston County school board members voted to let parents decide whether students will wear masks at school.
The report revealed that 54 people are currently hospitalized in the county, with four on ventilators and around 93 percent of those hospitalized were not vaccinated. Around 37 percent of the county's population is vaccinated, health officials said.