Chesterfield County schools report more than 500 COVID cases since August

Posted at 8:02 AM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-10 08:03:04-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield County Schools have seen more than 500 COVID-19 cases since the students and staff returned to their classrooms in August.

Some families are worried about the health of their kids, and what they'll do if their child has to quarantine for exposure to the virus.

Single mom Jamie Johnson said she’s been receiving emails everyday that a staff member or student has contracted the virus, but fortunately, she said she hasn’t gotten the call yet that any of her sons are a close contact.

"It is extremely worrying someone," said Johnson. "Every time I do get the email, I cringe because I'm like, 'am I going to get that phone call that my kids were exposed and I have to go get them?' So I think that's my my worst fear."

Johnson has twin eight-year-old sons who attend Jacobs Road Elementary, and a 12-year-old son at Manchester Middle School.

She kept her twins virtual last spring, so they didn’t have to quarantine and she didn’t have to take off of work to watch them if they were exposed to the virus.

"I have a full time job," Johnson noted. "And then trying to worry about you know, if my kids do get exposed or do get it, you know, what happens to my kids? Or where are they going to go?"

Johnson thinks Chesterfield could be seeing so many cases because the district went back before most other schools in the area.

"People were still on vacation, and then they were coming off vacation and their kids were coming to school," she explained. "We don't know if those kids got it on vacation. Then we just came back, you know, from Labor Day. Those numbers probably are going to spike again because there were people that went on vacation."

The district has seen 513 cases since Aug. 1, but an online chart shows cases have been on the rise since the beginning of September.

Chesterfield Schools said more than 62,000 students are utilizing in-person learning, and they have more than 7,000 employees.

They also note they will continue to keep families informed via email, phone calls and online information.

"Even with masks, it is easy to see the joy of students and teachers who are finally able to come together again in the classroom," wrote a district spokesperson. "There is no doubt that everyone has grown weary with the pandemic, but we must remain vigilant to keep our kids safe and in school this year."

The district is also encouraging parents to complete the daily health assessment that is available online before coming to school each day.