DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) — Danville Public Schools announced on Thursday its mitigation strategy for the upcoming school year, which requires all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks.

This comes after new guidelines from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Virginia Department of Education (VDOE), which allow school divisions to decide whether or not to implement a mask policy.

During a meeting on Thursday, Aug. 5, the Danville School Board approved the following protocols:

  • All staff, students and visitors will wear masks.
  • Students will maintain three to six feet of physical distance.
  • Desk/face shields will be used.
  • Cafeteria shields will be installed.
  • Frequent hand sanitizing.
  • Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned and sanitized regularly.
  • The COVID-19 daily dashboard on the school district’s website will be reset with the new school year.
  • Contact tracing will be conducted immediately upon notification of a positive case.
  • Hygenica machines will be used to sanitize the schools.

The school system says central office staff and Virtual Academy staff may remove masks if fully vaccinated, and employees may remove masks when students are not on the premises. Masks are also required on buses, which will be at full capacity.

“We are excited to begin this school year with students in classrooms full time, but we know that certain protocols must be in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This layered prevention strategy will be key in keeping students, teachers, and staff safe and healthy so we can return to educating students in an engaged and rigorous environment.

Dr. Angela Hairston, Danville Public Schools Superintendent

For indoor athletic events, all spectators must wear masks, and capacity will be limited to 70 percent. Coaches and athletes are not required to wear masks but should keep at least three feet away for social distance. However, they will be required to wear masks when traveling on buses.

Although masks will not be mandated outside, Danville Public Schools recommends unvaccinated spectators also wear masks at outdoor events.

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