Here’s Virginia’s new guidance as Gov. Ralph Northam announces push to reopen schools

He announced this during his COVID update

Gov. Ralph Northam will give an update on the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic Thursday afternoon.

“Our schools are safe,” said Gov. Ralph Northam on Thursday afternoon.

A return to in-person schooling is now a focus of Virginia leaders.

During Thursday’s COVID-19 update, Gov. Ralph Northam announced that it’s time to begin working to get students back in the classroom safely.

[Where are Virginia’s coronavirus cases? The health department’s interactive map]

He said that schools are able to practice social distancing, mask-wearing and cleaning, allowing them to reopen before a vaccine is widely distributed.

The Virginia Department of Education released its new guidance for schools at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

The emphasis will change from “school should be closed” to “schools need to be open,” according to Northam.

In the coming weeks, it’s expected that school boards will review the guidance and make recommendations.

10 News reported Northam would announce this change last week; however, the VDOE later rolled back that statement.