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Virginia updates school reopening guidelines

Gov. Northam announces plan for reopening Virginia's schools
Gov. Northam announces plan for reopening Virginia's schools

RICHMOND, Va. – The state has released new guidelines for how schools will reopen amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter sent to superintendents and school leaders, officials stated that while researchers agree that children are not getting coronavirus at the same rate as adults, there is still little data.

Officials outlined the following in the letter

  • Final reopening decisions rest “squarely in the hands” of local school boards 
  • Combination of face coverings and a minimum of 3 feet distance when 6 feet is not possible
  • Schools should strive for 6 feet distance, especially where there could be more transmission
  • Guidelines are in-line with what was sent by the American Academy of Pediatrics last week.
  • Large school gatherings are limited to 250
  • State Health Commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver and Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane wrote that the update reflects “the latest science, and the best public health guidance and recommendations available intended to reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in school settings.”

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