Shenandoah County Public Schools reports several COVID-19 cases involving students, staff

Published: Oct. 20, 2020 at 5:55 PM EDT
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SHENANDOAH COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Since transitioning to a hybrid model for students last week, Shenandoah County Public Schools has reported 13 active COVID-19 cases in the school division between teachers and students.

As a precaution, the division has transitioned some schools back to a virtual classroom. Central High School, Strasburg High School and Peter Muhlenberg Middle School have all switched back to temporarily virtual this week.

Mark Johnston, division superintendent, said as of Tuesday, they are unsure when those schools will return to a hybrid model.

Under the current plan, students in grades Pre-K through fifth grade are now back in school four days a week, and students in sixth through 12th grade are back in class one day a week, depending on their last name.

While there are a low number of cases at different schools, Johnston said the precaution is necessary due to the limited number of staff.

“Essentially what it amounts to is the absences in those three schools were just a little over 20 percent of the teaching staff in those schools," Johnston said. "So if you figure you don’t have one out of every five of your teachers, it’s really hard to bring kids in.”

Johnston said so far, every case reported has been determined to not have been contracted in school buildings, but outside the community.

In a letter sent out to the community on Monday, the division stated that health and safety are its top priority for students.

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