BOTETOURT COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — At least seven people have been told to quarantine and transportation has been suspended after a staff member who works at three Botetourt County schools tested positive for COVID-19.
Dr. Janet Womack — the Assistant Superintendent for Instruction at Botetourt County Public Schools — told WFXR News school officials learned on Wednesday, Oct. 21, about staff members at Buchanan Elementary School, Central Academy Middle School, and James River High School who tested positive for coronavirus.
School officials gathered the facts about the situation and consulted with the Roanoke and Alleghany Health Department to identify any potential close contacts.
Through this collaboration, Dr. Womack says the school system determined one student and six staff members were close contacts of the confirmed individual.
The parent of any child identified as having been exposed will be contacted directly by the health department, Dr. Womack says, and will be given guidance with regard to actions that need to be taken, including the need to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time of the close contact with the confirmed individual. Additionally, the school division contacted the exposed staff members with regard to the need to self-quarantine for 14 days.
The school system said any areas which may have been impacted by the exposures were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. In addition, Buchanan Elementary, Central Academy Middle School, and James River High School are still open.
However, because of the situation at the school, transportation has been suspended on seven buses due to lack of available drivers.
“Parents were notified through our school notification system of the suspended bus routes and the date that the routes will be reinstated,” a statement to WFXR News read.
In addition, school officials were also informed on Wednesday about a student at Central Academy Middle School who tested positive for COVID-19.
After school officials gathered facts about the situation, Dr. Womack says they determined student had not been at school within the past two weeks, adding that they did not identify any close contacts of the student,
Even though school officials notified parents and staff notified about the positive case, Central Academy Middle School will reportedly remain open during this time.
“The health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is a top priority. Botetourt County Public Schools will continue to implement health and safety procedures outlined by the CDC, VDH, and state and local officials,” Dr. Womack said. “These procedures include daily screening requirements of students and staff, daily temperature checks of students, use of cloth face coverings, physical distancing requirements, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures. We will continue to work closely with the VDH throughout the school year.”