A Virginia Beach school employee tested positive for COVID-19. Here’s why it’s staying open

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia Beach school officials have confirmed a staff member from Centerville Elementary recently tested positive for COVID-19. On Monday, the school was open for its summer program.

Health officials explained why the school was still able to be open.

“So, the health department feels comfortable that risk is extremely low,” said Virginia Beach and Norfolk Health Departments COO Paul Brumund.

The health department notified the school of the case the same way it did when another employee at Cox High School tested positive last month.

Brumund said, “We do a thorough investigation and collaboration with the school. If we can put all the pieces of the puzzle together to make sure the environment is safe then we would make the recommendation they would open or close if we didn’t think it was safe.”

Specifically, they are determining who was exposed and when, when the person was symptomatic, and if they were wearing face coverings.

In the cases at the schools it was found the employees were wearing face coverings and Brumund said the school responded with appropriate cleaning.

A school spokesperson told WAVY they were unable to meet our deadline for an interview Monday but did provide us letters they sent to families.

Brumund said he knows this is a delicate and sensitive issue with some parents and staff and offers this quote as advice: “There’s no safe place, there’s only safe behaviors. So, wherever you are the social distancing and the face-covering is key.”

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