Chesapeake Public Schools addresses uptick in COVID-19 case numbers, sports on 1-week pause

Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — In the past 14 days, Chesapeake Public Schools has reported 86 new coronavirus cases.

Numbers are updated daily on the division’s new COVID-19 dashboard to reflect positive cases from students and staff at on-campus locations.  

Western Branch High School has the highest number, reporting eight cases in the last two weeks. Butts Road Intermediate is second with seven reported cases. Indian River High is third with six cases.

School officials confirm Butts Road Intermediate did have a high number of students and teachers out last week quarantining while health experts investigated each case. Officials say the school was able to continue operating normally for most of the week but did ask for assistance on Friday. One staff member from a neighboring school provided supervision of students during recess and another staff member came in to substitute teach.

Officials told 10 On Your Side they determined none of the cases in any of the schools were linked to school spread. Because of this, none are considered an “outbreak,” according to the Virginia Department of Health guidelines.

Chesapeake has had four school outbreaks since the pandemic began. Schools include Great Hope Baptist Church School, Atlantic Shores Christian, Plan Bee Academy and Stonebridge School. All four schools are private educational centers.

As cases around the commonwealth rise, many school divisions are making the tough decision to return to virtual learning.

Chesapeake Public Schools looks to keep the in-person classroom setting for now.

School officials said, taking Butt Roads Intermediate, for example, the school is still able to provide in-person instruction with minimal adjustments so they’ll stay open.

CPS athletics are a different story.

Sports were placed on a oneweek pause Wednesday while a team reviews and reassess mitigation strategies.

At a school board meeting on Nov. 23, the Chesapeake School Board voted to give Superintendent Dr. Jared Cotton the ability to change the instructional method of individual schools, if necessary, without board action.

There will be more discussion on further action at the next Chesapeake School Board meeting on Monday, Dec. 14.


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