Bedford County fully vaccinates 450 public school employees

‘We can feel like we could have a stronger, in-person performance at school’

This could help students long-term.

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – Nearly 450 Bedford County public school employees received their second COVID-19 vaccine dose on Tuesday.

“I think it’s important to do my part. Things with masks are not ideal, and so I’d like to, I guess, just speed up the process for things to go back to normal,” said Bethany Huggins, a kindergarten teacher at Montville Elementary who received her second Pfizer dose.

Since September, Bedford County has offered in-person instruction five days a week for Pre-K through sixth grade, and at least two days a week for grades seven through 12.

While there is a virtual option, Huggins believes returning to a typical school day takes some strain off parents.

“It puts the weight off of the parents to help their children more with their assignments,” said Huggins.

Patricia Knox, the school division’s physical and mental health supervisor, hopes more shots in arms means more children returning to classrooms.

“We’re just delighted to have our staff being vaccinated so that we can feel like we could have a stronger, in-person performance at school with keeping our staff there, and therefore hopefully the students also,” said Knox.

Out of an abundance of caution, Bedford County canceled in-person classes Wednesday.

Students will learn remotely incase employees experience side effects.

“You might experience a headache. You might have some body aches, even what they call a ‘low-grade fever,’ something between 99.4 up to 100 or in that range. So, those things are normal immune response,” said Knox.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.