Staff member at Hanover County elementary school tests positive for COVID-19

Hanover County

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Hanover County Public Schools confirmed a staff member at John M. Gandy Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a letter to all families at the school, Principal Leigh Finch said they have notified the families of students in the affected classroom and those students will begin remote learning for the next two weeks.

Finch added all other JGES students will continue with in-person instruction.

This is the latest of several COVID-19 cases confirmed in the school district after in-person classes began last month. Marsha Butler, the parent of a 10th grade student in the county, feels that the school district has not been transparent enough.

“We’re learning about cases through rumors, through news articles,” Butler told 8News.

A spokesperson for Hanover County Public Schools said when there is a positive case in a school, a letter goes out to all families in that school. The spokesperson said this protocol goes beyond what the school district is required to do in its comprehensive Health Plan, which only calls for affected individuals to be notified.

However, Butler said that is not enough.

“That’s not transparency. Transparency is publicly stating on a regular basis, for example, weekly, what cases are happening in each school and not picking and choosing who gets to hear the message,” she said.

Yesterday, the district announced four people on two different school buses had also contracted the virus. The district said this latest case has no connection to school buses.

Last week, the school district announced two employees at Kersey Creek Elementary School tested positive for the virus. The health department determined that one of those staff members did not come in contact with any students in the week prior to testing positive, therefore no students were required to quarantine.

The school district said the other Kersey Creek staff member’s exposure was confined to one classroom and students in that affected classroom moved to remote learning for two weeks.

Earlier this month, Liberty Middle School temporarily moved to remote learning after an employee there tested positive for the coronavirus. The school returned to in-person learning a little more than a week later.

This is a breaking story, stay with 8News for updates.


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