Rise In Respiratory Infections Forces Two Stanly Co. Schools To Close

STANLY COUNTY, N.C. — Two Stanly County schools will be closed until November 1 due to a rise in respiratory illnesses among students.

On Tuesday, school officials said Aquadale Elementary and South Stanly Middle Schools will go remote on Wednesday and Thursday. The school already had scheduled days off on Friday and Halloween. Students will return to classrooms on November 1.

The school buildings and buses will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected while the schools are closed.

Stanly County Schools says the closures come as 27-percent of students at Aquadale Elementary were absent Tuesday. 26-percent of students at South Stanly Middle School were absent the same day.

The district did not specify what kind of respiratory illnesses are spreading, but local health officials have seen a rise in RSV among kids at local hospitals.

The CDC reported more than 7,000 cases of RSV in just one week this month nationwide. That’s the highest one-week total in the last two years.

A Novant Health spokesperson sent WCCB this statement:

“We are seeing increased numbers of hospitalizations due to RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and influenza-like illnesses across all Novant Health hospitals. While we’re concerned these increases could impact our bed capacity, Novant Health has extensive surge planning in place and stands ready to activate, as needed. It’s important for our communities to know that we have the continued ability to care for them, and that they should seek care when they need it. 

We strongly encourage preventative measures such as staying home if you are sick, maintaining good respiratory etiquette such as washing your hands and covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, and most importantly, getting vaccinated for both flu and COVID-19 to best protect yourself and others. As always, we ask that patients access their symptoms and seek care at the appropriate location.”

Doctors with Atrium Health Levine Children’s are seeing similar things. Their statement follows:

“With the national influx of respiratory illnesses, we are also seeing higher volumes at Levine Children’s Hospital and remain committed to providing the best, most personalized care for all those who enter our doors.

The number of inpatient beds filled with patients changes daily, so while we cannot provide an exact number, there has been a significant increase of cases seen in the hospital, as well as our emergency department, urgent cares and primary care offices.”