HOPEWELL, Va. (WRIC) — The Hopewell school board held a vote Friday night to implement new COVID-19 protocols in schools that will begin Monday, March 14.

According to a release posted to the school board’s website, the change is in response to “recent rapid declines in COVID numbers” as well as a change in guidance from the CDC.

Starting Monday:

  • Masks are optional for staff
  • Weekly testing of staff who are not vaccinated is still required
  • Weekly testing of student athletes is no longer required except for high-risk sports (all spring sports are low or medium risk)
  • Mixing of student groups is allowed so long as there is the option for masks
  • Distancing is no longer required but is still recommended when practical
  • Events with community members (e.g. promotion ceremonies) are allowed so long as there is the option for masks 
  • For visitors/volunteers working with students, proof of vaccination or recent testing is still required but masks are optional

CDC transmission levels are updated every Friday. If Hopewell has two consecutive Fridays in which transmission level is high, the school district will go back to the old COVID-19 protocols.