The Transylvania Times -

Ask Us: COVID in schools, Chestnut Shopping Square


Last updated 8/31/2020 at 2:20pm

Have there been any COVID-19 cases in the schools with either students, teachers and staff?

If so, how many and what has happened with those individuals? What has been done with those they came in contact with at school?

According to Transylvania County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff McDaris, as of last Thursday morning, the school system had two students test positive and those occurred at two separate schools.

“In both cases the Health Department was right on top of it with contacts, tracing, review of protocols, etc. In both cases, exposure to others was found to be very minimal,” said McDaris. “The students testing positive did quarantine. A key part of this is the social distancing and spacing we have in place, as well as masks. I cannot stress enough how important it is to wear a mask or cover. We have had both students and staff who have reported they were near someone who had tested positive, but tests have come back negative. Those folks quarantined until test results were available.

“There have been some exposures and positives in a small number of students who had the exposure away from school and never came to our buildings. When tests come back negative, they are allowed to come to school.”

Has the breakdown of students who are learning in the hybrid model changed and those learning entirely at home changed? If students want to change from one to the other, can they still do that or are they locked into their choice now?

Transylvania County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff McDaris said there have been some changes, but thus far they have been fairly small in number.

“We are seeing some families who opted for the virtual ask to switch to face-to-face. We can do that more easily and as long as we adhere to the state class size mandates (in lower grades). We’ve done that and are doing that as they come in,” said McDaris. “We have worked to accommodate any students/families who wanted to go virtual. The vast majority of these were already on a waitlist and we’ve got them enrolled in the virtual (learning path).”

As of last Thursday morning, McDaris was not aware of anyone wanting to switch to the virtual learning path who has not been able to make that change.

Are there going to be changes to the Chestnut Square Shooping Center on Asheville Highway in Brevard?

Rusty Pulliam, real estate developer with of Pulliam Properties in Asheville, said he recently purchased the Chestnut Square Shopping Center and said there are plans to add a new fast food restaurant and a “national retailer” to the center.

Pulliam said he is still in talks with tenants and no leases have been signed, so he is unable to share which businesses would be added to the complex. The Chestnut Square Shopping Center includes the freestanding Walgreens building, the freestanding Dollar Tree and a 9,000-square-foot multi-tenant retail strip. Pulliam said he planned to add on another 3,000 feet to the end of the building to make room for the new national retailer.

Pulliam said once leases are signed he would be able to release the names of the new businesses coming to town.


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