CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (WBTV) – The Mecklenburg County Public Health Chief recommends COVID-19 testing and other recommendations for schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg before the start of the new school year.

WBTV obtained a copy of the August 20 letter to CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston from Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Gibbie Harris.

Document: Click here to read the full letter

“This new school year is truly a difficult time for CMS as you begin to provide an essential in-person educational experience for the many students you serve,” Harris writes. “The surge in COVID-19 cases is not making the process easier, especially given the extra steps needed to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission among CMS staff and students. “

Harris says part of the strategy to move forward effectively with face-to-face training “is based on assessing and managing risk.”

The recommendations of the director of health in Winston include hiring more staff specifically for the COVID-19 response, including additional staff at the administration level and other staff at the individual school level to help. testing, contact tracing, education and liaison with the health department and data support. .

Harris also recommends weekly testing for CMS staff who have not submitted proof of vaccination and the availability of on-site rapid diagnostic tests for symptomatic students and staff.

In addition, a universal mask warrant is recommended for everyone in the school building.

“We are concerned and need a strong sense of urgency to implement these recommendations to ensure we start the school year early rather than late,” said Harris.

Wednesday is the first day of school for over 140,000 CMS students.

Stay with WBTV for more back-to-school updates.

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