School COVID rates are high


With a vaccine being unavailable for most school-aged children, Wise County schools are facing a high number of COVID-19 cases.

Since the start of the school year seven weeks ago, no less than 24 COVID-19 exposure letters have been posted on the district’s website and Facebook page. That is 24 exposure letters in 34 days of school, with a total of 164 students and 24 staff members reported positive for the virus.

The exposure letters, the last one being sent out Sept. 22, list how many students and staffers tested positive on that day, their school and when they were last present. Also standard in the letters is that “these individuals did have direct exposure with other members of the community” and that “the schools will remain open at this time.”

The letters include standard Virginia Department of Health protocols, including quarantining for anyone who has had close contact with a COVID-19 positive person. However, quarantining is not required for those who are fully vaccinated or have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months with no new symptoms.