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Henrico leaders tracking COVID data; no plans yet to halt school reopening

Posted at 7:29 PM, Nov 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-12 19:39:02-05

HENRICO COUNTY Va. -- Henrico County Public School's Health Committee reported that two of the three core indicators they watch have each increased a risk level since the board decided to begin phasing kids back into the classroom starting with pre-K through second grade on Nov. 30.

However, committee members said it is not at the point where they may reconsider that plan officials said during a Thursday work session.

Health committee chair Robin Gilbert said that as of Nov. 9, the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the last 14 days now sits in the highest-risk category. The percent-positivity over that same stretch has risen to moderate risk.

"At this time, we’re continuing to monitor. Certainly we’re concerned that the number of cases per 100,000 have gone up in our area," Gilbert said. "We’re on target, though, with those metrics to return to school on Nov. 30th."

Gilbert said the committee meets every week, but that she and another member monitor those figures every day. She said if case numbers stay in the highest category, once the percent-positivity increases another level, an emergency meeting would be called.

"We would not delay," Gilbert explained. "As soon as we noticed any movement in that data."

Gilbert said the committee would breakdown the percent-positivity to see if it’s been driven up by factors that would not impact the schools, such as outbreaks in jails or nursing homes.

"We would ascertain that information and be able to remove that information from that data, so that we could conclude what was specifically pertinent to our kids," Gilbert said.

If the committee determined there was a risk, Gilbert said they would likely recommend a scale back of in-person learning.