RPS superintendent releases 5-part plan to minimize COVID-19 spread

Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 4:50 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 30, 2021 at 5:16 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond Public School students start back Monday. Ahead of that, the superintendent is out with a five-part plan to minimize COVID-19 spread with Omicron variant concerns.

“We think that should get us through a good part of January. Of course, we’ll have to see how many quarantines there are and how many tests we need,” said Jason Kamras, Richmond Schools Superintendent.

RPS also purchased a quarter-million KN95 masks for staff and high school and middle school students, and will have other masks on hand for younger children.

For those facing isolation due to exposure, the division will offer up a test-to-stay program to minimize disruptions.

“What a test to stay program allows instead of quarantining, you would take four or five tests home, which we would provide. You would take the test each night, and if you are negative, you come back to school the next day. You keep doing that during the duration of the quarantine period,” said Kamras.

The superintendent says about 400 staff members who are currently unvaccinated will undergo weekly testing too.

“Those individuals who are not yet vaccinated will undergo weekly testing. That will start late next week and will be fully rolled out the week of Jan. 10,” said Kamras.

The vaccine rate among children in Richmond varies. According to Richmond - Henrico Health Districts, the rates Thursday stand at 23.1% for 5-11, 59.7% for 12-15, and 61.6% for 16-17.

Across the state the vaccination rates stand at 31% for 5-11, 70.2% for 12-15, and 73.5% for 16-17.

“We really wanted to make sure we aware doing everything humanly possible to make our return to school safe and healthy,” said Kamras.

RPS will also hold 15 vaccination events at schools in both January and February.

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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