A middle school in Fredericksburg, Virginia, will temporarily close and go back to virtual learning as it grapples with multiple COVID-19 outbreaks, officials said.
Walker-Grant Middle School will go back to virtual learning for more than a week, until Tuesday, Sept. 7, officials said in a note to the school community Thursday.
The COVID-19 outbreak is having a high impact on the school, with many students absent and staff capacity at a “critical level,” officials said.
The cases have been linked and multiple outbreaks have developed since school was set to start on Aug. 10, officials said.
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Fredericksburg City Schools requires everyone wear masks most of the time indoors and a two-week quarantine if exposed.
Despite the prevention measures, quarantine and case numbers have been growing for two weeks. That spurred the district and health department to shut down the school, officials said.
According to Fredericksburg City Schools data, 21 students and four staff members tested positive for COVID-19 in the district last week. Sixty-seven students and four staff were quarantined.
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Walker-Grant Middle School is the only Fredericksburg City School seeing such a significant impact, and other schools will stay open, officials said.
Thousands of students are heading back to school as COVID-19 cases surge nationwide, but so far few schools in D.C., Maryland or Virginia have been disrupted by outbreaks.
Hopewell City Public Schools said it was forced to close all schools last Friday because staffing had been severely hampered by COVID-19 cases and related quarantines.