UPDATE: Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has ordered all K-12 schools in the commonwealth to be closed for a minimum of two weeks due to the coronavirus.
HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — As the impacts of coronavirus spread across the United States, Virginia and North Carolina school districts are taking cautionary measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
Leadership in both states have declared a state of emergency as the number of positive COVID-19 cases rise. As of Friday morning, 17 coronavirus cases have been reported by the Virginia Department of Health in Virginia and 15 in North Carolina by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. More than 1,200 cases have been reported across 42 states and the District of Columbia by the CDC, with 36 total deaths.
Here is how the outbreak is affecting local schools:
Accomack County: Accomack County Public Schools has not announced any school closings.
Chesapeake: Chesapeake Schools will close to students on Monday, March 16 to allow teachers to prepare for the possibility of a long-term closure. To learn more, follow them on Twitter or visit cpschools.com.
Franklin: Franklin Schools will be closed for a minimum of two weeks beginning Monday, March 16. It will be a half-day schedule for teachers and staff only. Parents and guardians can pick up instructional packets on Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon. During those hours, if students want to have lunch, a prepared take home meal will be available at all 3 schools on Monday only. On Tuesday, March 17 through March 27, lunches will be available for any FCPS student at S. P. Morton Elementary School only.
Gloucester County: Monday will be a teacher work day so staff can prepare for the possibility of a school closure.
Hampton: All field trips, school sporting events, and athletic practices have been canceled effective March 14 for all city schools. After school activities and clubs will continue as scheduled. On Friday, Hampton Schools announced Andrews PreK-8 School would be closed Friday for all students and staff for deep cleaning, after someone at the school came in contact with a person who tested positive for the COVID-19, the coronavirus. The district said the person is not showing symptoms, and this decision was for precautionary measures only.
Isle of Wight County Schools: Isle of Wight County Schools remain closed throughout the year. The school is providing instructional plans weekly.
Mathews County: Mathew County Public Schools has not announced any school closings.
Newport News: Newport News Public Schools has not announced any school closings. Out-of-state field trips scheduled for March and April are suspended. All in-state activities may continue as scheduled.
Norfolk: Monday will be a staff planning day, so no school for students. Teachers will use the staff day to compile packets to send home with students should schools close. All field trips and extracurricular activities have been cancelled effective immediately. A Norfolk Academy student and their family are being tested for coronavirus and are self-quarantining. Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16 will be cleaning days and closed to students.
Northampton County: Northampton County Public Schools has not announced any school closings.
Portsmouth: Portsmouth Public Schools will be closed to students on March 16. The day will be used for planning in the event that a long-term closure is necessary. School campuses will also be cleaned. Instructional plans will be released monthly along with high school digital lessons. Those with no internet can pick up paper packets.
Suffolk: Suffolk Public Schools will be closed to students on March 16. Students will return to school on March 17. Student pick up and drop off will be adjusted to parents picking their children up at the front of the school or designated areas until March 30. After school activities are canceled until further notice. Building rentals, volunteer opportunities, and visitor access will be prohibited until March 30. Concerts, conferences and field trips will be canceled until March 30.
Surry County: Surry County Schools has not yet announced any changes to operations.
Virginia Beach: Virginia Beach City Public Schools is assessing its capacity for online learning, but is not planning to close schools. Monday, March 16, will be a staff day, so no school for students. The staff day will give teachers time to arrange for virtual learning if those teaching conditions are required.
Williamsburg/James City County: All Williamsburg-James City County Schools will be closed for two weeks, from March 16 to March 27 due to the coronavirus outbreak. 7 people in the county have tested positive for the virus, per the Virginia Department of Health.
Matthew Whaley Elementary School had already closed Friday “out of an abundance of caution” Friday after a school volunteer told school officials she tested positive for coronavirus. All field trips and sports competitions are canceled through April 17.
York County: The York County School Division has announced it is moving into the next phase of its pandemic response plan. To work on the pieces of the plan, Friday is now a student holiday and staff workday. Transportation to Governor’s School and New Horizons programs will be provided at regular times. More information will be provided to staff and students as it becomes available.
All public and private k-12 schools are closed until May 15 in Pasquotank and Camden Counties.
Camden County: Schools have moved to remote working for most employees as of Friday, March 20. Schools are open with limited staff, and the public is not to come to the schools unless absolutely necessary. Schools are conducting deep cleaning during this closure period. Students’ classwork is mostly. More information is available on the county website.
Dare County: Afterschool athletics have been canceled from 11:59 p.m. on March 13 until March 16. Field trips, meetings, professional development, and other types of county travel have been suspended indefinitely. Officials are also suspending the use of school facilities for gatherings, outside of instruction, of more than 100 people starting March 16.
Elizabeth City-Pasquotank: Pre-K students will receive instruction via packets from their teacher. Online resources will be posted for parents who have devices available. Parents of K-2 students will receive instructions via packets/online from their child’s teacher. Students in grades 3-12 will be assigned a school-issued device for virtual instruction unless parents have indicated a school-issued device is not needed. More information about online instruction and packets will be provided by your school. More information is available on the county website.
Officials suspended all travel for school-sponsored trips effective March 12. They are also monitoring the North Carolina Athletic Association for updates about spring athletics.
Hertford County: Hertford County Public Schools has not announced any school closings.