Area schools battle coronavirus cases among faculty, students

COVID-19 cases confirmed at multiple Central Virginia schools

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Schools in Central Virginia continue to see cases involving staff and students testing positive for coronavirus. Multiple cases of COVID-19 were confirmed at multiple schools on Monday.

These cases are coming in as some schools have welcomed students back. Some Dinwiddie students returned to class Monday, while other districts are watching to see if and how they should.

“We sit back and we look and we’re just like ‘wow,’” said Sonia Smith with the Chesterfield Education Association.

That’s because the inevitable is apparent. School buildings are reopening and new coronavirus cases are being confirmed.

Richmond Public Schools sent out a notice Monday that one employee at Fox Elementary and another at Henderson Middle both tested positive and are now being quarantined. In Hanover county, two people on two school buses also contracted the virus. As a result, four people on those buses must quarantine because they had close contact.

Monday, there was also a confirmed case at Beasely Elementary in Prince George and another at Powhatan High School. In Powhatan, a staff member tested positive and now six students there are in quarantine.

“These are our colleagues. These are our sisters and brothers in education and we don’t want anyone, anyone to get sick,” Smith says.

Her association does not include members of any of the schools affected, but because this is a universal issue, she’s concerned and there is one thing she would like to see.

“Making sure that every single corner of every single building is absolutely clean and safe, and that the spacing actually works and that everyone is on the same page, 100% all-in, with all of the safety measures because if one person doesn’t do it, it’s going to affect everyone else. That is the biggest concern,” Smith said.

Most importantly, this is sure to be a matter of trial and error as school districts do their best to figure it all out.

“We’ve got to allow for grace, patience, understanding,” Smith added.

As for the cases at RPS, one staff member was at Fox Elementary on the Thursday before Labor Day. The other employee was at Henderson Middle every day until Sept. 15. The district is asking anyone who was at those schools at the same time to pay attention to their health and call a doctor if they start showing symptoms.

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