The Hyde County School board meeting virtually via Facebook Dec. 31.

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Owing to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the county, Hyde County Board of Education on Dec. 31 unanimously voted to return to fully virtual (Plan C) schooling on Jan. 4.

Meeting virtually and live-streamed on its Facebook page, the board agreed to reevaluate this decision at their Feb. 2 meeting at 5 p.m. and livestreamed on Facebook.

For Ocracoke, the small group face-to-face support will return to fully virtual support.

The board also voted to suspend sports and workouts for all of Hyde County schools while they follow Plan C. 

In October, the board had voted 3-2 to return Mattamuskeet’s three schools to staggered in-person instruction under a modified Plan B design beginning Nov. 3.

Board Member Lindsey Mooney of Fairfield noted on Thursday that COVID-19 cases have risen alarmingly recently in Hyde County, notably in Fairfield Township.

“We’re in a kind of hot zone in Fairfield,” he said. “People you come in contact with daily are coming down with it.”

With the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, the county should expect to see even more cases seven to 10 days from now, said Stephen Basnight, superintendent.

He noted that certainly there are students who need to be in classrooms with certified instructors to do well.

“But we’ve got to take into consideration the health and welfare of all of our students and staff at the same time,” he said. “There are no easy answers, This is not an either or but this gets us to a point where we can do what we need to do for our students and staff.”

As for COVID-19 vaccines, North Carolina should receive vaccines for the group designated in 1B, which includes teachers, sometime near Jan. 11, Basnight said. Will set up vaccination schedules at the schools when this happens.

Hyde County Schools Superintendent Stephen Basnight presented this slide showing the rise in COVID-19 cases in Hyde County..

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