AMELIA COUNTY, Va. -- As Amelia County students returned to school Monday, some of those students are now required to wear a face mask.
School Board Chairman Mike Neller announced Sunday that all middle and high school students and school staff are now required to wear a mask.
This comes after a Amelia County Elementary School staff member tested positive for COVID-19 last week.
"The school board decided that it would be safer for all school staff and students to wear masks," Neller wrote. "We realize that this is short notice, but it is all the time we had."
In a message to families Saturday, Division Superintendent Dr. Lori Harper said the staff member was on school premises on August 10 and 11 and had direct contact with two other employees who are now quarantined.
The district says multiple areas of the school has received an additional "deep cleaning."
Neller says the new policy is in line with CDC recommendations that everyone in public settings wear face coverings.
Elementary students will not be required to wear masks because they may have difficulties adjusting to it.
The Chairman says if students refuse to wear a mask, they will be provided a space for virtual learning.
Amelia County schools have a hybrid in-person instruction and virtual instruction.
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Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.