Some Fairfax Co. students return to virtual instruction

Some students who have been attending in-person courses in Virginia’s largest school system are returning to virtual instruction.

Fairfax County Public Schools said it has notified parents of “Group 4” students that their children will go back to all-virtual learning because of rising COVID-19 cases.

Those students — who began in-person classes Oct. 26 — were back to online learning on Monday. They include those taking culinary, computer, dance, music and other career training courses, as well as Burke School elementary students.

Fairfax County schools used two health indicators suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — the total number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days, and the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests over seven days — to make its decision.

The number of cases per 100,000 must be equal to or less than 200, and the positivity rate must remain at, or equal to, 10%. And the school system said the county has reached seven consecutive days of cases exceeding the threshold of 10%.

“As soon as these metrics indicate that it is safe to return to in-person instruction, Group 4 students will be phased back into schools,” the school said in a statement.

Before Monday’s announcement, only four groups of students have returned to some in-person learning. Plans to bring more students back were put on hold until during a town hall meeting last Thursday.

Group 5 was supposed to return last week, but a day before the group was to return, Fairfax County schools announced that it would be postponed in in response to growing coronavirus numbers in the county.

Across the D.C. area, other jurisdictions have delayed or reversed plans for students to return to the classroom, including Virginia Beach and Henrico County and Calvert County in Maryland.

Earlier in November, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced new statewide restrictions aimed at slowing the virus’ spread.

More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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