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Lincoln Herald | Lincolnton, NC

home : community : education April 14, 2021

3/3/2021 10:59:00 PM
Getting Back To Normal
The photos above are from the Atrium Health Vaccination Clinic for Educators & Child Care Workers held at the Lincoln County Schools Central Office last Friday (Feb. 27th) and Saturday (28th).  The mass vaccination event was made possible through a  partnership between Atrium Health Lincoln, Lincoln County Schools and the Lincoln County Health Department.

“I cannot thank our teammates and partners enough who have worked tirelessly to make this event such a huge success,” said Teresa Watson, vice president and facility executive at Atrium Health Lincoln. “Working in collaboration with the school system and the county health department, we were able continue our regular vaccine clinics in addition to administering hundreds of vaccines for our educators.”  

“I wanted to get the vaccine to protect my mom who is recovering from a stroke and to protect my own kids,” said Ashlee Sherrod a teacher in Lincoln County. “I feel like getting the vaccine is how I can contribute to society. I think it’s the right thing to do to protect our students in schools.”

“Lincoln County Schools is extremely pleased with Atrium Health’s ability to mobilize this opportunity for our community of educational professionals and to help serve the school system,” said Dr. Aaron Allen, superintendent of Lincoln County Schools.

Health Dept. Director Davin Madden added: “There has been a tremendous degree of anticipation for many seeking a vaccine and it’s a celebrated moment when the time arrives. Although vaccine distribution has been an immense challenge, the willingness for key partners to leverage their collective energy and efforts for such an important need only reaffirms the commitment and value our community holds."

Photos:  Jeff Hayton, Kisa Alexander, Mary Catherine Robinson, Ashlee Sherrod  

photos courtesy of Atrium Health

Wayne Howard

We called it 'the lost year.' Many of the things that normally happen every year were cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic. There was no junior-senior prom, no traditional graduation ceremony for the class of 2020, no July 4th parade, no Apple Festival.

Now, as more people are getting vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, as some of the restrictions that were imposed to stop its spread are being reduced, there is reason to believe that life can possibly return to 'normal' later this year.

The city of Lincolnton is already making plans for an Independence Day parade and fireworks, and the School Board heard at its work session Tuesday evening that there will be junior-senior proms and traditional graduation ceremonies. For the class of 2020, who were promised a traditional ceremony in December that never happened because the pandemic was at its worst, a separate traditional graduation will also be held in addition to the one for the class of 2021. Both will be held outdoors in the high school stadiums.

There will also be junior-senior proms. Because the pandemic isn't over--just not as bad as it was--allowances will have to be made to stay in step with the Governor's executive orders. While they aren't required to have them at the school, it appears likely that will be the case. Two principals, the Tuesday School Board session heard, have already been making arrangements for big tents since the proms may be held outdoors in the stadiums. They will have to be held before May 1st the board was told.

The board also heard a report on the successful effort to allow fans to see their teams in action while restrictions were most severe. The South Fork Conference partnered with Chris Ritchie to create the South Fork Network and showed volleyball and basketball games online. The volleyball matches were money losers for the schools. It cost $300 for each live-stream telecast; fans could buy access for $10. Only East Lincoln, among Lincoln County schools, made money on volleyball--they cleared $36. West Lincoln lost $876 and Lincolnton High lost $740. For basketball, the live-stream effort was profitable for all the schools. Of course, the athletic programs lost most of their usual income from program ad sales, but the live-stream did allow some to see games they couldn't attend because of the limit on numbers imposed by the Governor's orders.

The new order announced last week will allow more fans to see events in person. Football games this week will be able to have up to 30% of the stadium capacity. For the East Lincoln at Lincolnton game, that means they can sell up to 1500 tickets. For the North Lincoln game vs West Mecklenburg, the limit will the 851. For the West Lincoln at Maiden game,
1200 will be the limit.

The board also heard a report on a weekend clinic Atrium Health held to vaccinate teachers, child care workers, etc. Of the 1915 people vaccinated, 451 were associated with Lincoln County Schools. 96 others involved in education got their first shot. 39% of those attending the clinic were Lincoln County residents. School administrators said some teachers and other Lincoln County Schools employees had already got vaccinated elsewhere including a clinic for teachers at CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia last week. For those who got their first shot at the clinic over the weekend, another clinic for second shots will be held March 19th-20th.

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