Fuqua School goes into extended closure status

Published 2:18 pm Friday, March 13, 2020

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Fuqua Head of School John Melton stated in letter to the Fuqua community that the school’s administration has made the decision to go into extended closure status effective Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 20, due to concerns surrounding COVID-19.

This also means all Fuqua athletics activities will be canceled next week.

The school is currently on spring break.

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“We will be continuously re-assessing the situation with (the) coronavirus based on the most recent and accurate information available through the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” he wrote.

He noted that information on the specifics of the plan moving forward will come later and will by nature be evolving in the coming days and weeks.

“This is not a decision that I make lightly, nor in response to any kind of political or social pressure,” Melton wrote in reference to the extended closure status. “Fuqua School continues to have no reported or confirmed cases of students, faculty, staff or administration with (the) coronavirus or who have had direct exposure to someone who has been diagnosed with (the) coronavirus.”

He added that however, a specific case of the coronavirus has been identified in Farmville. 

“On a national level, the limited availability of test kits; the limited number of health care professionals who are currently trained to administer and process the test for (the) coronavirus; the two- to 14-day incubation period of the virus; and the fact that many infected individuals are asymptomatic mean it is likely the spread of the virus has not reached its highest point,” he stated. “We hope that by doing our part, we can make the high point just a bit lower and better protect our students, faculty and staff.”

Melton then stated his belief that given what school administration knew about the virus and the recent rapid evolution of the situation in the U.S., Fuqua was likely to be closing for a period of time at some point. 

“And I don’t see the benefit of waiting until after families return from spring break and the possibility of the virus becoming more widespread, and then reacting,” he wrote.