LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The Loudoun County public school district in the Northern Virginia area will be closed for several days out of “an abundance of caution” after a county resident tested positive for the coronavirus, COVID-19.
The Loudoun district will be closed from Thursday, March 12 to Friday, March 20, school officials announced Thursday morning.
The Loudoun County resident in their 40s tested positive after attending Christ Church in Washington, D.C., where hundreds were exposed to a church rector who was diagnosed with coronavirus. D.C. has since declared a state of emergency, but Virginia has yet to do so.
The number of coronavirus cases in Virginia has now reached double digits after a Longwood student and Alexandria resident tested presumptive positive, meaning the cases are believed to be positive but haven’t been officially confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.
“Loudoun County has not experienced the extent of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 as some other areas within our nation or globally and has not had cases that meet the definition of community transmission, we are making this decision out of an abundance of caution. We plan to announce next steps by the end of next week,” a letter from Superintendent Eric Williams said.
Loudoun school officials say they don’t believe anyone whose tested presumptive positive has a connection the schools. In the meantime, schools will be cleaned and officials will give updates on online learning possibilities and how they’ll help students who rely on school meals.
It was the first district-wide public schools closure in the commonwealth. Chesterfield County Schools later announced Thursday morning that all schools would be closed to students Friday, March, 13 “while staff members clean and proactively prepare instructional plans in the event of a long-term closure.”
Many Virginia colleges and universities also announced Wednesday they’re canceling in-person classes and moving them online.
School districts in the Tidewater area have yet to close due to the coronavirus, but are assessing the situation. So far two people in Hampton Roads, a Virginia Beach couple who went on a cruise to Egypt, have tested positive.