Hampton leaders discuss COVID-19 business restrictions, return to school


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — On Thursday night, Hampton leaders and health officials came together for a virtual question-and-answer session on COVID-19, business restrictions and the return to school this fall.

The virtual session was streamed live on Facebook.

When it comes to business, health experts say they aren’t picking on certain industries.

It’s all about exposure, specifically if you’re within 6 feet of someone for more than 15 minutes. This kind of contact doesn’t happen as much in grocery stores but is common at bars and restaurants.

“The likelihood that you’re going to sit 6 feet away from the people you went there to meet is highly unlikely, so the reason is not to pick on a particular type of business but is to identify those with prolonged contact,” a Virginia Department of Health representative said.

The debate on how best to send children back to school in the fall draws a lot of emotion.

Hampton city leaders and health experts also answered questions about virtual learning Thursday.

The health department says research shows children aren’t impacted as much by COVID-19, but the concern remains for many on how quickly the virus could spread to those around the students.

“Two big forces driving the decision making — the other people in the school environment, bus drivers, teachers, nurses, cafeteria staff, counselors and then what the children may take home with them,” they said.

Hampton has not announced its plan for the upcoming year. Superintendent Jeffery Smith will recommend all schools start virtually. The school board will meet Aug. 5 to make a final decision for students.

Click here to watch the recorded livestream.

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