Shenandoah Elementary closing for the next week due to COVID cases

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 6:03 PM EDT
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SHENANDOAH, Va. (WHSV) - In Page County, Shenandoah Elementary School will be closed until next Tuesday due to increasing cases of COVID-19 in the building. This comes after more than 40 fifth graders were already placed in quarantine protocols Monday after being exposed to positive cases within the school.

“The fifth grade was quarantined based on their exposure, we do have other kids in the building who are currently quarantined in other classes because of exposure to other individuals, whether they’re students or staff,” said Dr. Antonia Fox, Superintendent of Page County Public Schools.

According to the school division’s COVID-19 dashboard, there were 10 active cases within the school as of Tuesday morning. That number will likely be higher as more of the exposed students are tested.

There were also 53 active cases across the division as of Tuesday morning. Dr. Fox says schools are taking every action they can to try to limit the spread.

“On weekends we’re deep cleaning, you know we make sure that we’re enforcing and using our masks appropriately because that is a mitigation strategy, we try as much as we can to get students as far apart from each other as possible,” said Dr. Fox.

Fox adds that schools are following all CDC guidelines and have been in constant communication with the Lord Fairfax Health Department before making big decisions like closing the school.

As of Tuesday morning there had been 86 reported COVID cases in Page County Schools since classes began August 23.

The school division says it understands the issues that can arise for families when students have to quarantine, and is doing its best to accommodate them.

“We understand the implications this has on families, that when we have to call in the evening and say ‘your child can’t come to school for a number of days’ we understand the impacts on the family,” said Dr. Fox. “What we’re trying to do is communicate as quickly and as accurately as we can to provide as many options as we can instructionally so that students don’t fall behind.”

The school division hopes to conduct virtual learning for students over the next week. Dr. Fox says they will work with families who don’t have the proper internet connection to ensure their children get the information they need.

With cases rising in the school system, it’s worth noting that only 39.5% of the population of Page County is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the lowest percentage in the WHSV viewing area.

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