More than 450 Chesterfield students, staff have tested positive for COVID since the start of August

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) – Since the beginning of August, 461 Chesterfield County Public Schools staff and students have tested positive for COVID-19. Now just a few weeks into the school year, parents are concerned about the health of their children.

In total, Chesterfield has 62,000 public school students.

As of Wednesday, more than 370 Chesterfield students have tested positive since Aug. 2. More than 80 staff members at Chesterfield schools have tested positive since Aug. 2.

One Chesterfield dad has two kids going to two different Chesterfield schools and both of those schools have reported at least 15 COVID cases since Aug. 2.

“I think it probably concerns a majority of the parents here in Chesterfield County,” Chesterfield parent Michael Mulhall said. “Our concern is obviously for the small amount of percentages of people who might get it. Our hope is that it will be mild and that no one will suffer any severe circumstances.”

Mulhall’s said his children are both vaccinated, but go to Tomahawk Creek Middle School and Winterpock Elementary School, where at least 15 COVID cases have been reported between the two schools since the start of August.

If a positive COVID case is reported to a Chesterfield school nurse, this is the district’s protocol on how it’s handled. (Photo: CCPS)

According to the CCPS dashboard, two students were reported as testing positive with COVID-19 on Aug. 26 and Sept. 7. At Winterpock Elementary, 13 students were reported as testing positive for COVID between Aug. 30 and Sept. 7.

The school district is asking everyone to remain vigilant and for staff and students to complete a daily health assessment.

“Basically make sure that they’re practicing good hygiene, washing their hands as often as they can, and making sure that they are aware of the situation, the environment that they’re in at school, if they see somebody who’s sick or not well, you know, make sure you respect their space,” Mulhall said on the reminders he continues to stress to his kids.

He applauds CCPS for their communication efforts involving the reported COVID cases.

“We get regular emails on a daily basis,” he said.

For now, a spokesperson with CCPS said they’ll only close a school if the health department suggests that.

Mulhall said the district should only consider switching to virtual at a certain point.

“You have to look at the numbers, and so is this reasonable, is this within say five to 10% of the overall school population and if it is and we’re not seeing it spike beyond that to anything say greater than 15 or 20%, then my hope is that we will continue to educate our children at school,” he told 8News.

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