Twenty-six schools in Fairfax County are dealing with a coronavirus outbreak, according to the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID-19 dashboard. An outbreak is defined as a cluster of three or more cases of COVID-19 illness in a group within 14 days.
The Fairfax County school system has the highest number of schools reporting an outbreak in the region. The list shows Loudoun County having one school experiencing an outbreak, while Prince William County has none. A lag in reporting could cause low figures in these school systems.
Despite the outbreaks, current mitigation efforts will not change in Fairfax County schools.
“Our current protocols remain in place until we reach a high transmission level,” said Julie Moult, a spokesperson for the school system.
The school system acknowledged the recent uptick in cases and outbreaks in a newsletter. It reminded parents that they must conduct daily healthy screenings of students before sending them to school.
“Parents and guardians are advised to keep their students home if sick and get them tested to stop further spread from occurring,” it states.
Last week, the Fairfax County Health Department released an update on the virus, saying “outbreaks in schools, primarily the elementary grades, have increased rapidly.”
“On Friday, there were 74 classrooms that reported outbreaks of COVID-19 cases, and this week there were 139. These figures include outbreaks that occurred in both public and private schools, as well as at childcare facilities,” the statement reads.
The department also recognized that Fairfax County has moved from low to medium COVID-19 community level, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s definition.
Acacia James covers Fairfax County with a focus on affordable housing, access to transportation and other issues affecting underserved communities.