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New River Health District believes in-person learning is best for its K-12 students

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 5:48 PM EDT
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) - The New River Health District reports seeing 47 COVID-19 cases between August 22-29, out of 20,000 students in public schools.

And leaders say they believe in-person learning is still the best option for children.

“We had nine in Floyd, 3 in Giles, 14 in Pulaski, 15 in Montgomery, and 6 in Radford,” said Dr. Noelle Bissell, the director of the New River Health District.

Dr. Bissell says there are many details they have to keep in mind if they choose to declare an outbreak in a school or switch back to virtual learning.

“There are a lot of metrics that really showed significant challenges from the virtual learning, you know, anxiety, depression, went up in our kids, their performance in school, you know, a lot of them are much further behind in learning and it’s going to take a lot to catch them up and exacerbated disparities with a lot of our underprivileged,” said Bissell.

Bissell says the health district is not going declare an outbreak in schools unless there’s actual evidence showing transmission in school.

“We will find cases that are not related to being in school that were acquired outside of school through other family or social activities. And those would not be included on a dashboard for school outbreaks,” said Bissell.

See these links to resources from the district’s health partners:

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