Local health official: ‘Some schools need work’ on plan if student or staff gets coronavirus

Schools have to submit plan to Virginia Department of Education

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke and Alleghany Health Districts Director Dr. Molly O’Dell is helping several school districts come up with a plan to deal with a positive case of coronavirus in school.

“I’ve reviewed quite a few of them,” said O’Dell. “And they range in level of detail from very detailed to needs more work.”

During a coronavirus conference call Tuesday, she said some have a very detailed plan while other simply have a plan to make a plan.

Schools are only required to submit their plans to the Virginia Department of Education, but O’Dell said a lot of schools have been asking the health department for guidance.

One of her recommendation is to designate someone in the school to work with the health department if there’s a positive case.

“In ‘little Johnny’s’ classroom, we’re going to have to figure out who were the close contacts. Were there any? Is this a school that’s using social distancing? Were they using more than six feet, were they using less than six feet?” O’Dell said.

She said the Virginia Department of Health will not make any blanket recommendations about how to deal with positive cases. Each one will be handled on a case-by-case basis.