Roanoke County Schools prepare and plan for potential spread of the Coronavirus


ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — While no reports of the Coronavirus have been reported in the Commonwealth, Roanoke County Public Schools is preparing parents for several scenarios including schools closing for a minimum of 14 days.

The school division wrote a letter to parents Thursday evening explaining the measures the division could take in the event of a reported case of the Coronavirus in connection to the schools.

Chuck Lionberger told WFXR News the purpose of the letter is not to alarm parents but keep them informed and aware of the measures the division may take in the event of a reported case of the virus in connection to a school.

March 5, 2020

All RCPS Parents/Guardians:

With the recent global awareness concerning the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to update you on how we plan to move forward providing instruction if an outbreak were to impact one or more of our schools. We are closely coordinating with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), local medical experts and Roanoke County Public Safety to monitor the current status of the Coronavirus. According to the VDH and Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there currently are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Virginia. If this virus becomes more prominent, we will coordinate with the VDH, medical experts and Roanoke County Public Safety to implement any necessary action such as closing one or more schools.

If one confirmed case is identified in our community, and if there is any connection to one or more of our schools, one or more schools are likely to be closed for a minimum of 14 days, upon recommendation by the VDH. We are working on plans to provide resources to support continued educational opportunities for students while they are at home. We encourage you to consider plans in the event that schools close for an extended period of time.

Again, according to the VDH and CDC, there currently are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Virginia as of this writing. We are providing you this information as a proactive measure to keep you informed. Any updates will be posted to the RCPS website and we will continue to send information as needed.

As a reminder, preventing the spread of illnesses is a team effort. We need your help as well. The best way you can help prevent the spread of viruses is to keep your child at home when he or she is sick and stay home until he or she is vomit-free, diarrhea-free and fever-free (under 100.4 degrees) without any medicine for at least 24 hours. If a student returns to school while still contagious, even if he or she seems to feel better, there is a much greater risk that other students will become infected, further spreading viruses and other illnesses. There are several other ways you can help prevent the spread of viruses including:
• Avoiding contact with anyone who is sick
• Washing your hands for 20 seconds and covering coughs/sneezes
• Avoid touching nose, eyes or mouth with unwashed hands

We’ve created a page on our website about the Flu and Coronavirus so that parents can find links to more information from the CDC and VDH. You can find that page at

We will continue to monitor the situation in collaboration with the VDH and keep you up to date. We appreciate the support and assistance of our community as we work together for the well-being of our students.


Dr. Ken Nicely
Roanoke County Public Schools


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