Liberty Middle School temporarily closed after three employees test positive for COVID-19

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HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Liberty Middle School has been temporarily closed due to three employees testing positive for COVID-19.

The school will be closed through Wednesday, Sept. 9 to “protect the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff,” according to Dr. Michael Gill, Superintendent of Hanover County Public Schools.

The Hanover Health Department worked closely with HCPS to make the decision to close the location after “careful consideration.”

The individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation, and those who were possibly exposed will remain in quarantine for 14 days, as required by official health guidance.

There are currently at least 15 staff members who may have been exposed to the virus.

Hanover parent Brian Gurthie said it is not surprising.

“This is predictable. Right?! This is going to continue to happen throughout the course of the school year as long as we remain having face to face as an option,” said Brian Guthrie.

Hanover County Public Schools is offering a mix of remote and in-person learning. Guthrie chose the virtual option for his kids because he thinks it’s the safest.

“The school system and administrators need to prepare for that in a way that’s holistic across the district. That allows teachers time to plan so they can build the lessons they need to to make them dynamic for either environment and figuring out ahead out time what students will need technology-wise,” said Guthrie.

In a letter to parents, Hanover Superintendent Dr. Michael Gill said, “We understand this is disruptive, especially as we begin the school year, and we sincerely apologize for this unplanned but necessary decision.”

Hanover parent Janelyn Testerman said these challenging times have left some families scrambling.

“I hope parents can adjust to the sudden switch. I know families had planned for in-person being available and not it’s not and I hope they can get their needs met and the school can provide adequate cleaning and containment,” said Testerman.

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