quarantine

Hundreds of Northern Virginia Students in Quarantine

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The first week back to school wasn't going well for hundreds of Fairfax County families who find their children already in quarantine.

Fairfax County Public Schools reports 160 confirmed cases in the past two weeks -- most of them students.

Hemang Nagar's daughter was quarantined after having close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in school.

Students and staff must quarantine while the health department conducts contact tracing to determine how long the quarantine will last.

Tuesday evening, Nagar opened an email from his daughter's school linking to details online that explain "when the Fairfax County Health Department has completed all contact tracing, FCPS will send out a final notification letting the school community know that the process has been completed."

He was told he'd get an answer about when his daughter could return within 48 hours.

"It has been 72 hours right now, and I do not have any idea if she's going to school on Monday," Nagar said.

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Virtual learning floored his daughter last school year.

"She was so depressed and she was crying the whole time, and as a parent, you know, it tears us completely," mother Chetna Nagar said when News4 interviewed the family in October.

Quarantined students have the option of completing assignments online. Nagar can't bear to put his daughter through it.

“This is not going to happen again," he said.

News4 reached out to the health department to ask about the wait time for contact tracing but hasn't heard back.

FCPS said it doesn't collect data on how many students are currently quarantined.

If the contact tracing determines close contacts were wearing masks, the students should be allowed to return immediately, FCPS said.

Nagar said his daughter wears her mask all day.

In Fauquier County, more than 560 students are quarantined, and an entire middle school in Fredericksburg is in quarantine.

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