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Schools prep for coronavirus

Local schools are developing plans for prevention and protection against the novel coronavirus, including preparation for a possible long-term school closure in the event of an area outbreak.

The decision comes after news that other school systems in the commonwealth, such as Pulaski County Public Schools are closing schools for a day to allow teachers and staff time to develop lesson plans and activities in case of a long-term closure due to the virus.

Cumberland County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Amy Griffin said school officials have been meeting, planning, and prepping for awareness and prevention of the disease.

A letter was sent home to parents Wednesday detailing the school’s efforts, and resources for the virus are available on the school’s website.

Griffin specified that while the school does not have intentions to close, officials are developing plans for education and providing food for students in the event a school closure of 14 days or more is needed.

Griffin said the school is taking extra precautions for cleaning “high touch areas,” and will be using a professional development day on Friday, March 20, for preparing for possible home instruction if it is needed.

Many Virginia schools are considering digital instruction as a method to continue lessons should the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, cause any prolonged school closure.

Buckingham County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Daisy Hicks said the school system is developing plans in case of a virus outbreak. She added that Buckingham may include take-home instructional packets in this plan due to the county’s rural nature and many students’ limited internet access.

Superintendent of Prince Edward County Public Schools Dr. Barbara Johnson said that the school is working closely with the Department of Health and is in daily contact with the agency.

“Further, we continue to clean and sanitize our classrooms; and all staff members are working diligently to practice healthy preventative habits.”