By JONAH LOSSIAH
One Feather Staff
Cherokee Centrals Schools (CCS) still hopes to fully return on Thursday, Jan. 6.
Concerns with a surge in COVID-19 cases in Cherokee has raised questions about operations on the Boundary. EBCI Public Health and Human Services reported on Monday, Jan. 3 that there have been 248 new positive cases since Dec. 15. As part of increased measures, Principal Chief Richard G. Sneed released a memo Monday afternoon. The document reinstituted a mask mandate for Tribal employees and brought the return of the four-day work week for Tribal operations.
CCS Superintendent Michael Murray said that student and community safety are of the highest priority. He said that CCS will be bringing in all members of staff on Wednesday, and each employee will be taking a rapid COVID-19 test at the Cultural Arts Center (CAC) on campus.
“As long as we have the work force after that testing, we plan to bring the students back this Thursday. Our COVID protocol is still in place with mandated masks and closed lunchrooms so we feel this will be the safest place for them. We are working with the health department to make changes to the quarantine protocol that match the CDC,” said Murray.
Jennifer Thompson, chairperson of the CCS Board of Education, said that the Board has stayed in communication this week and followed the case numbers.
“We are still slated to return Thursday, Jan. 6 but will be dependent on the staff testing on Wednesday. We are continuing to constantly monitor the community numbers and we still have all the safety measures in place,” said Thompson.
The School Board is set for it’s first meeting of the new year on Thursday at 4:45 p.m. The meeting is expected to take place in the CAC to offer social distancing to the Board members. Further discussion on this topic will take place at this meeting.
Any updates on Cherokee Centrals Schools will be posted as soon as possible.