CMS to no longer conduct contact tracing; other COVID-19 protocols to change

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will no longer conduct contact tracing to identify close contacts of individuals known to have tested positive for COVID-19 starting Monday.

[ALSO READ: Mecklenburg County drops mask mandate as COVID-19 trends continue to decrease]

Quarantine or exclusion from school will apply only to students and staff who test positive, and they must quarantine for at least five days with declining symptoms before returning to school or work, district officials said in a news release.

Close contacts or those potentially exposed to the virus do not have to quarantine, even if they are exposed to someone in their home who has tested positive.

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CMS will notify families and staff regarding possible exposures. Clusters will also be reported. However, data regarding quarantines and close contacts will no longer be reported.

The district will continue to offer COVID-19 testing.

Indoor mask mandates in schools remain in effect. The school board is planning to talk about that policy during a board meeting Tuesday.

Gov. Roy Cooper made an announcement this week recommending schools and local governments move to a mask optional policy by March 7.

Principals and staff are encouraged to prepare for the likelihood that masks soon become optional for students, staff and visitors.

“We remain committed to the safety of our students, staff and the community,” district officials said. “Please remember to stay home if you or your student are sick or exhibiting symptoms. Get vaccinated if eligible, mask up and get tested if you have symptoms. Free testing is available for students and staff at schools. Interested families should contact their schools for information on how to opt-in to testing.”

(Watch the video below: Mecklenburg County drops mask mandate as COVID-19 trends continue to decrease)