As COVID-19 cases in the county surge over Winter Break, Loudoun County Public Schools plan to reopen as scheduled, on Jan. 3, division spokesman Wayde Byard confirmed today.
“We will have an announcement detailing what we are doing before our return to school,” Byard said in an email.
Urgent care clinics and the county government’s twice-weekly testing program have been overwhelmed with the demand for testing. On Dec. 24, the Department of Health reported Loudoun’s highest single-day case count of the pandemic, logging 605 new cases. The county’s free drive-through testing site at Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park reached its 2,000-test capacity within an hour of opening yesterday, with drivers waiting in their cars for as long as six hours to get swabbed. An organizer of the testing event said the turnout reminded him of the demand for testing at the start of the pandemic, and that at one point there were 1,000 cars waiting in line. Another testing event will be held at the park on Thursday.
The increase in cases, attributed to the highly transmissible Omicron variant, has elicited questions from families about the return to school, which looms next week.
The surge has prompted neighboring Fairfax County Public Schools to offer free testing to families before the return to classrooms. That school division also stated in an email to families that school would continue as scheduled.
Gov. Ralph Northam ordered that all school divisions provide full-time, in-person instruction this school year. School divisions have been quarantining individuals and classes as needed.