Bath County Schools halts in-person instruction through Sept. 17 amid transportation staff shortage


BATH COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A school district in the Alleghany Highlands will be closed on Tuesday because of a staff shortage.

Bath County Public Schools is pausing in-person instruction through next Friday as the school district reports a transportation staff shortage, as well as a dozen COVID-19 cases and more than 50 quarantines among students and staff.

According to the school district — in collaboration with the local health department — in-person learning is suspended from Wednesday, Sept. 8 through Friday, Sept. 17.

School officials say the transportation staff shortage is expected to continue through next week.

As of this weekend, the school district says there are approximately nine students and three staff members who tested positive for the virus. In addition, approximately 49 students and four staff members are currently under quarantine.

However, school officials expect the majority of these individuals will be able to return to school or work by the end of next week.

Vaccinated staff members and vaccinated students age 12 or older who are considered close contacts are required to wear masks and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, but they are not required to quarantine, according to Bath County Public Schools.

Elementary and high school employees are expected to reach out to parents and students about assignments and virtual attendance requirements.

In the meantime, school officials say that participation in athletic and extracurricular activities during the next two weeks is currently under review.

Tuesday night’s school board meeting has also been postponed, but the new date and location will be announced in the future.

A number of other schools in southwest Virginia are either closed or operating virtually on Tuesday. That includes Pulaski County Middle School, which also attributed decision to a staffing shortage, and Craig County Public Schools, which did not provide a reason for the closure.

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