August 30, 2021

What We Have Learned About COVID19 This School Year

Dear Yancey County School Students, Employees and Parents,

It has been great to see all of you back on our campuses this school year. After reflecting on the last two weeks, we have been able to gather facts and information as we deal with

COVID - 19 issues once again in our schools.

The principals, directors, the YCS Health Team and our partnership with Toe River Health have reviewed various situations and here is what we have learned from the week based on our data and the guidance provided by the NCDHHS NC Healthy Schools ToolKit Updated August 26, 2021. (

  • We have active coronavirus cases in our schools.

  • Students are able to recover at home so far.

  • The quarantine numbers continue to grow due to exposures and positive cases.

  • Based on the NCDHHS Tool Kit, during the school day if a masked student is exposed to another masked student who tests positive, a quarantine is not necessary.

  • Based on the NCDHHS Toolkit, at an after school event or activity if a masked student is exposed to another masked student who tests positive, a quarantine may be required.

  • A fully vaccinated individual or an individual with a lab confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 within the past 90 days who is exposed to a positive, does not have to quarantine as long as they remain symptom free.

  • If a student is exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, a COVID test or a note from your physician will be required to return to school based on the state regulations. If COVID testing is necessary, the school nurses or Toe River Health Department will request for the student or adult to be tested at a local testing facility (your family doctor, Health Department, MCHP at Celo or Bakersville, Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care etc). An at home test or “presumed positive” cannot be accepted based on state guidelines.

  • For any one who has been exposed to a positive, you may be released from quarantine on day 8 after the exposure with a negative test on day 5 or later with the approval of the Toe River Health Department. Parents please share the negative test result with the school nurse and the Toe River Health Department.

  • If a test is not conducted on day 5 or later, you may return to school on day 11 after the exposure with approval from the Toe River Health Department.

  • We have directions for parents concerning antibodies testing on the back of this sheet.

  • Principals and teachers are working with students and families who are in quarantine. Work packets, materials, supplies, and assignments will be posted in Google Classroom or on Moodle, as they have been in the past when students are absent due to health issues.

  • We thank you for being honest and staying at home if you are not feeling well. The school nurses will help you through this process and help answer any of your questions.

Thank you for working with us as we pull together once again to mitigate the spread of the virus in YCS. We sincerely hope your children and families have a great school year.

Kathy Amos, YCS Superintendent

Diane Creek, Director of Toe River Health

Shea Laws, YCS Lead School Nurse

Jessica Hensley, Public Health Nurse Supervisor II

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Parent Guidance for Covid Antibody testing

Toe River Health District will accept Covid-19 Antibody testing under certain circumstances to adjust quarantine time. Before you get Covid-19 Antibody testing for you or your child please consider the following guidelines:

  1. Before you or your child undergo antibody testing you must be unvaccinated. If you or your child are vaccinated then quarantining is not required unless experiencing symptoms.
  2. You must have antibody testing performed within 4 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed Covid-19.
  3. You or your child must not be experiencing symptoms of Covid-19.
    Symptoms of Covid-19 include nausea, diarrhea, sore throat, headache, fatigue, loss of taste and/or smell, muscle aches, runny nose, congestion, fever/chills, cough, or shortness of breath.
  4. You or your child should have limited or no contact with people at high risk for severe Covid-19 illnesses. This includes older adults, persons with certain medical conditions and pregnant or recently pregnant women.

Definition of Older adults and people with certain medical conditions:

  • Older adults: Older adults are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Getting very sick means that older adults with COVID-19 might need hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they might even die. The risk increases for people in their 50s and increases in 60s, 70s, and 80s. People 85 and older are the most likely to get very sick.
  • People with medical conditions: Medical conditions such as Cancer, Chronic Kidney Disease, Chronic lung diseases, including COPD, asthma, interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension, Dementia or other neurological conditions, Diabetes Type I or II, Down Syndrome, Heart conditions such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension, HIV infection, Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system), Liver Disease, Overweight and obesity, Pregnancy, Sickle Cell Disease or Thalassemia, Smoking, current or former, Solid Organ or Blood Stem Cell Transplant, Stoke or cerebrovascular disease which affects blood flow to the brain and Substance use disorders.
  • Pregnant and Recently Pregnant Women: Pregnancy causes changes in the body that could make it easier to get very sick from respiratory viruses like the one that causes COVID-19. These changes in the body can continue after pregnancy.

The following is the process for antibody testing:

  1. Find a provider who provides antibody testing. Make sure the provider uses an FDA Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) test.
  2. Once you receive the results of the antibody test please provide them to your local health department.
  3. The health department will process your test results and notify the contact tracer.
  4. The contact tracer will call you and give you guidance so please answer your phone.

    TRHD continues to encourage the wearing of masks, the frequent hand washing and social distancing to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. With your help in these areas we can hopefully keep our students in school and our communities safe. Please call your local health department with any COVID-19 questions or concerns you have.

*CDC website: