County schools report new cases

November 20, 2020

Wise County school officials have notified parents and guardians of a half-dozen new COVID-19 cases within the last week.

Also, in a Tuesday letter posted on the school system’s Facebook page, Superintendent Greg Mullins notified parents and guardians that under new restrictions imposed Nov. 13 by Gov. Ralph Northam, all staff members and all students age 5 or older must wear a face covering when entering, leaving, traveling through or spending time in school buildings.

Students and staff will be provided “mask breaks” while maintaining proper physical distance, Mullins noted. Masks are not required while eating or during physical education, band or chorus if 10 feet of distance can be maintained.

Students and families who choose not to wear face coverings “will continue to have the all-virtual option available to them.”

In a letter published Nov. 17 on the Facebook page, Mullins reported that a Union Primary School student who had last been to school Nov. 16 for about one hour had tested positive. Also testing positive was a student at Coeburn Primary School who had last been at school Nov. 12.

In a Nov. 16 letter, Mullins confirmed positive virus tests for another Union Primary student, who had last been to school Nov. 12; one Union High School staff member, who was at school Nov. 13 and drove a bus Nov. 16; and a staff member at Wise Primary who was last at school Nov. 13.

In a Nov. 13 letter, Mullins reported a positive test for a Coeburn Primary student who had last been at school Nov. 12.

In each letter, Mullins noted that areas where these people had been were deep cleaned. “If you are not contacted by the Health Department, you do not need to stay home or exclude yourself from activities at this time.”

During the school board’s Nov. 10 meeting, Mullins said that system-wide, four students and 10 staff members were in quarantine due to exposure, while there were four active cases.