Governor says school will be back in session this fall with guidelines

Published: Jun. 9, 2020 at 8:44 AM EDT
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Governor Northam says students will return to their studies in the next academic year, but the experience will change a bit from what they're used to.

The Department of Education says the return to studies, after schools switched to virtual education in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, will be a phased approach.

In Phase One, already underway, in-person education is okay for special education students and working family child care.

In Phase Two, already underway in many school districts, in-person education adds preschool-to-third grade students and summer camps, plus English-as-a-second-language students. Sports and extracurricular activies are allowed with limitations.

In Phase Three, expected to be in place by fall, in-person education in public and private schools is permissable, but with social distancing, staggered schedules and face masks recommended, but not required, for older students. Teachers and other school staff must wear masks if they can't observe six-foot social distancing. Sports and extracurricular activies are allowed with limitations.

for full information on guidance for schools.

How this is done may be different in each school district; each district must submit a plan to the Virginia Department of Education before the fall school year starts.

to watch Tuesday's briefing from the governor's


Governor Northam said Northern Virginia and Richmond, which have stayed in Phase One of economic reopening because of more cases of COVID-19 than other areas, will join the rest of the commonwealth in

beginning June 12.


is reporting 51,738 cases of

in the commonwealth as of Tuesday morning.

2.376 of the cases are reported as "probable."

The total number is up from 51,251 cases reported Monday, a 487-case increase.

VDH reported Tuesday a 13,000-test backlog, information from which will be slowly added to current data over the next couple days, resulting in an influx of results.

According to VDH, a Richmond-area laboratory had been providing test results via fax, which had to be entered manually by VDH staff. VDH staff had prioritized positive test results, which means the remaining backlog largely includes negative tests. The lab is now submitting test results electronically.

There are 1,496 recorded coronavirus-related deaths in the commonwealth, up from 1,477 Monday, and 5,203 people have been hospitalized. 388,480 tests have been conducted, with an 8.9% positivity rate over the last week.

Any new confirmed cases from health departments throughout the state the rest of the day won't show up until at least the following day on the state list, as the official numbers are only updated once a day, with a 5 p.m. cutoff each day for new cases to be reflected on the next day's list.

Copyright 2020 WDBJ7. All rights reserved.

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