Eleven Norwayne Middle School students have tested positive for COVID-19, leading to two reported virus clusters at the school.

Wayne County Public Schools reported the clusters Wednesday with one cluster involving five in-school students and the second involving six football team members, said Ken Derksen, WCPS communications and public relations officer. Only two of the students have been on the middle school campus this week, Derksen said.

A cluster is defined as having a minimum of five laboratory confirmed cases with illness onsets or initial positive results within a 14-day period and a plausible epidemiologic linkage between the cases, according to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

“We learned about the two separate reported cases last Thursday and Friday,” said David Lewis, WCPS superintendent. “Through contact tracing and follow-up investigations this week we learned about the additional cases, which we believe can be reasonably connected within each cluster.”

School officials reported the clusters to the Wayne County Health Department, as part of the COVID-19 response protocols for WCPS.

Recommended guidelines from DHHS are being followed, Derksen said.

The WCPS weekly COVID-19 dashboard, as of Wednesday, reports there were six reported virus cases at Norwayne Middle School from Sept. 4 through Sept. 10. During the same week, the highest number of cases for school staff and students was reported at Charles B. Aycock High School with 13 confirmed cases, which was followed by nine cases at Eastern Wayne High. Other public schools reported six cases or less for the week.