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COVID-19 Update


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Durham, NC - Durham Public Schools has received confirmation of an employee testing positive for COVID-19. This is the first confirmed case affecting a DPS employee or student. The employee was involved in food and instructional materials distribution through the Bethesda Elementary site.

Since beginning the food distribution program on Monday, March 23, DPS has steadily strengthened protections for staff and families including more stringent social distancing requirements, aggressive cleaning, and closing most DPS work sites. As with all staff at the site, the employee’s temperature was regularly monitored and was normal while on the job. The employee did not come to work after taking a COVID-19 test, and DPS was notified of the results late Wednesday night, April 1.

Out of an abundance of caution, employees that worked at the Bethesda site were being sent home and directed by DPS to contact the health department.  The Bethesda site produces 400-500 meals for various feeding sites serving about 100 meals directly. DPS Operational Services is evaluating what adjustments will need to be made to the feeding program as a result.

“Our highest priority is to keep our students, families, and staff safe during this COVID-19 response,” said DPS Superintendent Pascal Mubenga. “We continue to be grateful to all of our staff who have been supporting our students by providing school meals and instructional materials, and we will continue to strengthen our programs to ensure that they operate safely for all.”

In the feeding program’s first week of operations:

  • DPS served 27,857 lunches and 27,854 snacks for a total of 55,711 meals at 81 sites.
  • DPS buses drove more than 5,315 miles to deliver food and instructional materials.
  • More than 400 hourly/classified employees participated in some capacity with daily food distribution.
  • DPS partnered with the DPS Foundation and related community partners to provide close to 8,000 meals over two weekends. DPSF and partners raised more than $110,000 from 840 donors for meals and other direct supports