Guilford County Schools is postponing the return of more students in pre-kindergarten through second grade. These students were scheduled to return to classrooms Tuesday.

Guilford Health officials say the COVID health metrics for the county is now in the red, which is considered high risk for transmission by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At one point, the positivity rate was 6.5 percent for a 14-day stretch. Last week, it was more than 11 percent. Hospitalizations and ICU admissions are also trending upward. Superintendent Sharon Contreras says the reentry delay is frustrating for students, staff, and families.

“We need everyone's help if we want our children back in schools. That's the key message here. We can't control the spread of COVID-19 in GCS. We can only react to it.”

Iulia Vann, director of the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging the public to limit their exposure to people outside of their immediate family, exercise caution when restarting family activities, stay socially distanced and practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.

Contreras says pre-K and kindergarten classes that have already opened on a voluntary basis will continue because the numbers of students and staff involved are small.

The district will get another update on community health metrics this Friday and discuss a potential return for next week based on that data.

Meanwhile, Contreras says the district is taking steps to help families.

“To help ease the burden on families we have already contacted the Department of Social Services to prevent the loss of childcare seats,” says Contreras. “The director of DSS Heather Skeens, has asked her staff to contact all daycares in Guilford County that receive county subsidies to continue to hold all childcare spots and continue services in both the subsidized and the extended childcare programs."

Meals will continue to be available for free for any child under 18 at grab and go sites.

For the most up-to-date information on coronavirus in North Carolina, visit our Live Updates blog here. WFDD wants to hear your stories — connect with us and let us know what you're experiencing.

*Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib-news

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