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As COVID cases rise, Hopewell parents concerned for safety of students

As COVID cases rise, Hopewell parents concerned for safety of students
Posted at 4:28 PM, Aug 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-02 22:34:56-04

HOPEWELL, Va. -- With students entering their second week of school in Hopewell, parents are expressing their concerns as positive COVID tests in schools continue to climb.

"They're not doing a great job here in Hopewell," Ashley Morgan, the mother of two students, said.

"It's a big mess, yes it is, and it's very dangerous and I don't think that it's being handled correctly," Dawn-Marie Hernandez, another mother of two students, said.

Concerns amid parents are rising as Hopewell School's COVID dashboard is now reporting 15 positive COVID cases. This number is up from what was reported earlier on Monday and is made up of 11 students and four staff members.

According to the dashboard, most of the cases reported have likely been contracted from the community, but one staff member is likely to have contracted the virus at school.

The two mothers said that after learning about the rise in cases, they reached out to health leaders to learn more about protocols and to express their concerns for their children.

On Monday morning, the news of COVID cases hit close to home for Dawn-Marie.

"I received a call from Harry E. James Elementary telling me that my kindergartener was in contact with someone positive," she said.

She said that she doesn't understand why the school system hasn't made the decision to send her other child home.

"Does she have to quarantine and she told me no, my child is still allowed to go to school," Hernandez said.

As of now, this guidance from the school district is in line with CDC standards. However, these recommendations aren't stopping her from pulling her other child out of school.

"I am going to pull all of my children out of school to save the other children," Hernandez said.

However, other parents are putting their trust in the school system. Shirley Flores decided that it's important that her three children are in school.

"So to me, I feel like they're doing everything they can. The kids are mandated to wear masks while they're in school," Flores said.

Yet, other parents aren't as convinced of safety for their children. Morgan, who currently has two sick children at home, said that she has her doubts.

"We don't send out kids our to school for babysitters, we send our kids to school to learn and they need that education. They also need to be safe and the school system needs to do what's right and sanitize," Morgan said.

Both Ashley and Dawn-Marie believe that the school system needs to do a better job of letting parents know what is going on when it concerns positive COVID tests.