With COVID-19 cases skyrocketing, schools are scrambling as more students are forced into quarantine, including over 300 in Franklin County


(WFXR) — Coronavirus cases and quarantine numbers around the Commonwealth — including a few school districts in the Roanoke Valley — are skyrocketing as students return to the classroom.

Roanoke City Public Schools’ students walked back into the classroom on Tuesday, Aug. 24, but according to the district’s website, they have already had several cases of COVID-19 — including two staff members and one student.

“This isn’t new to us. We had cases last year where we had to quarantine.”

Verletta White, superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools

White says the school district is doing all they can to keep everyone safe.

“We’re trying our best to prevent those kinds of cases by making sure students are staying socially distant as much as possible,” said White. “You’ll see desk screens at the desks. You’ll also see mask-wearing. You’ll see handwashing stations.”

In Rockbridge County, they are dealing with the same situation.

According to Tim Martino, the assistant superintendent of Rockbridge County Public Schools, “We knew that going into this year, we were going to have to be very cautious, very careful. Our kids’ emotional and physical safety is not only most important right now, but any year during the school year.”

In Rockbridge County, in-person classes began last week and they currently have five confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 60 of its students actively quarantining which are scattered throughout the district.

Martino says his district is having no problems with students following necessary COVID-19 protocols.

In Franklin County, school officials say there are 28 students at Franklin County High School who have reported testing positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday. From the positive cases, district representatives told WFXR News that they have identified more than 300 students who are now in quarantine.

The district’s dashboard shows the updated changes.

Franklin County Public Schools says that students who are in quarantine are not counted absent and can access their school work through an online platform called Canvas.

According to the district, students and staff who have been vaccinated are exempt from being quarantined.

School officials will continue focusing on cleaning and sanitizing high-touch areas. Students will begin eating in classrooms on Wednesday, Aug. 25 and physical education classes will not dress out to eliminate gatherings of large people.

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