Revised numbers trigger return to distance learning in Loudoun County

The Loudoun County Public Schools announced Thursday afternoon that they will return to 100% distance learning on Tuesday, Dec. 15 after revised COVID-19 metrics for the county show that the point for triggering the return has already been passed.

The school system announced Thursday morning that Virginia’s Department of Health reported 10.4% of COVID-19 identification swab tests in the county have been positive during the last 14 days. That would have begun a five-business-day countdown, after which distance learning would return if that numbers stayed about 10%.

On Thursday afternoon, the school system announced that revised Health Department numbers showed the county has been over 10% since Dec. 6.

“Given this new information, and the expectation that metrics will stay above the thresholds for the foreseeable future, LCPS will revert to 100% distance learning for all students beginning Tuesday, December 15,” the school system said in a statement.

The other metric — also from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s core indicators — includes the total number of new cases per 100,000 people within the last 14 days reaching more than 200. That threshold was passed weeks ago, and on Thursday, it stands at 394.

Theoretically, either number could dip below the threshold either Friday or Monday, and hybrid learning could continue. “LCPS does not anticipate that happening before December 15,” the statement said.

The thresholds were adopted last month by the Loudoun County school board to monitor coronavirus spread locally, and set a point at which in-person learning would be suspended.

WTOP’s Rick Massimo contributed to this report. 

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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