MANASSAS, Va. — Prince William County has temporarily pause in-person learning for Bennett Elementary School in Manassas following dozens of positive COVID-19 cases, officials said.
Health officials confirmed 36 positive COVID-19 cases at Bennett Elementary by Friday afternoon. This resulted in three probable positive cases all in isolation and more than 200 close contacts in quarantine*. Officials said all known close contacts were identified and notified of possible exposure.
After advisement from the Prince William Health District to stop the spread of COVID-19, school officials decided Bennett Elementary will return to virtual learning from Tuesday, Oct.12 through Friday, Oct. 15. The school district said classes will follow normal bell times and students who do not have a device at home can pick up a device on Monday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The school district believes the COVID-19 outbreak stemmed from both the community and the school.
"We encourage all families to continue proper mitigation strategies in the community to help stop the spread. This includes wearing masks, handwashing, and vaccination for those who are eligible," school officials said in a statement to the school community.
Any child who tests positive or has symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the period of in-person learning should notify the school and contact a health care provider.
Prince William County Public Schools and the Prince William Health District will hold a webinar at 6:00 p.m. Monday to answer any questions, comments or concerns.
* It is important to note that quarantine does not equate to illness, according to Prince William Health District.