Virus continues to affect schools

Published 6:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2021

Area schools continue to see COVID-19 cases among students and staff, with 50 new virus cases identified in local schools since last month.

According to Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) Superintendent Dr. Barbara Johnson, Prince Edward has seen 52 cumulative COVID-19 cases among students and staff since school began Aug. 2, a 23-case increase since the last school COVID update published Sept. 3.

Johnson said as of Friday, Sept. 17, PECPS had one active coronavirus case among teachers/staff and 21 active student cases. The school has not had to quarantine any classrooms in recent weeks, but Prince Edward’s varsity football team’s practices were temporarily halted last week due to potential exposure to the virus.

Johnson noted the school continues to participate weekly in meetings with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) to keep abreast of the latest trends in virus cases.

On Thursday, Sept. 16, Buckingham County Public Schools (BCPS) Superintendent Dr. Daisy Hicks noted the school has experienced a total of 57 cases since the first day of school on Aug. 9. The school district is up 19 cases since the Sept. 3 update.

Of the 57 cases seen at BECPS since classes started, 49 have been student cases and eight have been employee cases.

Hicks said there were six known active cases in the Buckingham school system as of Sept. 16. The school has not had to quarantine any additional classrooms, buses or school buildings in recent weeks.

Cumberland County Public Schools (CuCPS), according to Superintendent Dr. Chip Jones, has seen 8 new coronavirus cases among students and staff since the Sept. 3 update.

Since school began Aug. 9, CuCPS has seen a total of 44 cases across the health district, including 17 elementary student cases, eight middle school student cases, 16 high school student cases and three staff member cases.

As of Friday, Sept. 17, there were no active known cases at the elementary school. CuCPS was reporting one positive case in the middle school on Friday as well as six positive cases in the high school and 47 students actively quarantining across the school division.

“I continue to appreciate the support and understanding from our families,” Jones said Friday. “I know positive COVID-19 cases and the need to quarantine is frustrating to families. Our families have been amazing.”

Paul “Chance” Reynolds, head of Fuqua School in Farmville, said Thursday, Sept. 16, that the school had no new COVID-19 cases to report so far this month.

“Thanks to the many mitigation strategies we have in place here on campus, the support and cooperation of our faculty and families and the wonderful partnerships we enjoy with the medical professionals of the Piedmont Health District and the Virginia Department of Health, I am happy to report that our numbers have not increased since we last spoke,” Reynolds commented.