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'They knew this was going to happen!' | Two Fredericksburg schools move to virtual learning for COVID outbreaks

Chancellor High School and Walker-Grant Middle School are both pausing in-person learning.

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Two schools in Fredericksburg, Virginia, have reverted to virtual learning because of COVID-19 outbreaks.

First, Walker-Grant Middle School announced they would return to online instruction after an outbreak on Aug. 26. School officials made the decision after consulting with local health officials. Students will return to classrooms on Sept. 7, Fredericksburg City Schools said on Twitter

Additionally, Chancellor High School announced students would return to virtual learning because of an outbreak on Tuesday, Aug. 31. In consultation with the Rappahannock Area Health District (RAHD) as per their recommendation, students will return to classrooms on Sept. 10. All after-school activities, practices and athletic events will not take place. 

According to a spokesperson with Spotsylvania County Public Schools, there have been 27 COVID-19 cases between Aug. 19 and Aug. 31, resulting in 314 quarantines. Masks are required on all school property including the athletic fields when students are not actively playing.   

"They knew this was going to happen," said one mother who was picking up bagged lunches outside of the school Tuesday. "And it will happen again. I'm just hoping and praying at this point."

"I don't know how I feel honestly," added parent Kristie Jones who said she wasn't surprised by the outbreak. "I prepared for school very lightly because I knew it wouldn't last long. I'm unsure if I'm comfortable sending him back after this."

In a letter to parents, Chancellor High School Principal Cassandra Crawford said any students who have been identified as close contact to a person who tested positive for COVID-19 must complete the 14-day quarantine period before returning to school, which may fall after Sept. 10. A school spokesperson said crews are electrostatically cleaning the building.  

Additional details about what led to the outbreak have not been released, but school officials remind students to continue to monitor signs of illness, practice social distancing and wear face coverings.

This comes just a day after Rappahannock County Schools returned to classrooms after going virtual for two weeks because of an outbreak.

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