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COVID concerns lead to temporary closures of Bonsack, Linkhorne elementary schools

(WTOK)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 2:15 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Bonsack Elementary School will be closed, beginning Friday, August 27, because of multiple cases of COVID-19 and students and staff with symptoms, according to Roanoke County Schools. The closure, scheduled to last through August 31, is at the direction of the Virginia Department of Health.

All students and staff will transition to remote learning while the VDH assesses the extent of potential transmission of COVID-19 within the school community, according to the school district. All students will be issued laptops for at-home use. Parents or students needing technical support are told to email bontechsupport@rcps.us.

“We have been prepared for this possibility,” said Dr. Ken Nicely, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools. “We are very empathetic to the hardship that quarantining and temporary closures cause for students, families, and staff and we are here to offer support. We are grateful to have resources in place to continue with the process of teaching and learning, regardless if that instruction is remote or in person, and will work with the health department to re-open the school as soon as possible,” Dr. Nicely said.

Parents may pick up three days of meals... breakfast and lunch... from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Friday, August 27. (They should be refrigerated right away, according to school officials.) If needed, an additional meal pickup time will be Wednesday, Sept. 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Parents are requested to call the Bonsack nutrition manager at 540-562-3900, extension 42040, to sign up for meals. That is not required, but helps the school determine the number of meals to prepare. Meals are provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Roanoke County Public Schools reminds parents to review the daily health checklist at rcps.us/covidchecklist and urges parents to keep children home if they display any symptoms as noted in the checklist. For the latest information on COVID-19 cases in the schools, see the COVID Dashboard at rcps.us/coviddashboard.

In Lynchburg, Linkhorne Elementary School will shift to remote learning for all students Friday, August 27 and Monday, August 30.

Lynchburg City Schools says it is “out of an abundance of caution and in consultation with the Virginia Department of Health.”

The plan is to reopen Tuesday, August 31, provided the school has the necessary staff to “ensure the safety and supervision of our students.”

The school district reports it does not appear there is any significant COVID transmission within the school itself; the cases being reported are the result of community-based transmission.

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