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VDH revokes food permit from Fairlawn Day School following COVID-19 complaints

Health officials received complains about a lack of masks and social distancing in the school

FAIRLAWN, Va – A day school in the New River Valley has abruptly shut its doors after several complaints of COVID-19 guideline violations resulting in key permits being taken away.

When Chelsea Sewell went to pick up her daughter at Little Lambs Christian Day School earlier this week, she was in for a big surprise.

“The teacher that was outside with them told me that I need to go talk to the director...I didn’t think anything of it, so I went over to the office and went to talk to them and they were like ‘We just got shut down because of COVID guidelines.’” Sewell said.

According to an investigation by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), there were multiple reports of staff members or students not wearing masks or following social distancing. VDH officials went to the site to address the claims, they tried to speak to Pastor Steven Phillips and Director Patrice Phillips.

When they reminded the two of the guidelines, health department staff members were asked to leave and even physically, but not forcibly, escorted out.

While most parents 10 News spoke with were in shock about the closure, they say they were more surprised about the letter sent home with them.

The letter, now being shared across social media, signed by Pastor Phillips refers to the virus as “a hoax” and claims “a vaccine could change your DNA.”

When Chelsea Sewell read it, she was in shock.

“I was like ‘This is a joke.’ I almost just started laughing. I was like ‘There is no way that they send this to us.’ And I walked out to my car and read it and I was like ‘What in the world is going on like this is not okay?’” Sewell said.

The findings of the investigation led to VDH revoking the daycare’s food permit which likely caused the closure. Now dozens of parents are looking for alternative options for their kids.

“I really don’t want her to go to public school because I don’t want her virtual learning. I would rather her be there,” Sewell said.

10 News has made multiple attempts to reach out to staff and school leaders at Little Lamb Christian Day School and have not gotten a response.


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