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NEWLAND — In light of recent increases in the spread of COVID-19 in Avery County, the district school system has announced that it is transitioning all students to remote learning beginning Friday, Nov. 20, with students returning to in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 30, following this week’s scheduled Thanksgiving break.

All ACS faculty and staff members will report to work during this period in accordance with their regular work schedule, according to a November 19 letter release from ACS Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman.

“As announced by the governor earlier this week, Avery County is starting to see an increase in active cases in our community with the potential for increased exposure during the coming Thanksgiving holiday. Avery County Schools is committed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our county,” the letter states.

Throughout the semester of in-person learning, the district has required face coverings and adhered to social distancing and hygiene principles to help curtail the spread of the coronavirus in the school facilities.

The district has also made multiple adjustments in recent weeks to learning environments, including transitioning of classrooms or individual schools to remote learning for periods of time to allow for quarantining and deep cleaning at facilities as news has come to light of positive cases in a particular classroom or school setting.

“Currently, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services CoVID-19 tracking dashboard shows Avery County having a status of ‘critical community spread,’” Brigman added. “All schools have been and will continue to be deep cleaned throughout the holiday week. We will continue to follow safety protocols and work in partnership with the Avery County Health Department to ensure a safe learning environment is maintained throughout our school system.”

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