Hanover County Public Schools announced late Friday it was suspending in-person instruction and moving to remote learning at Hanover High School after seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases. The change went into effect immediately and will go until Dec. 18 with plans to reopen on Jan. 4, the day after winter break ends.
All other schools in the county will meet for instruction as scheduled, according to the announcement.
“We do not make this decision lightly as we understand that this is a significant disruption to your daily lives,” school administration said in the announcement. “Please be assured that we have exhausted all possible options to continue face-to-face instruction at HHS. We believe, however, that this is the best decision possible to help address the recent and ongoing staffing constraints at HHS caused by COVID-19.”
HCPS has warned its students and families twice now about rises in cases across the county with messages from Superintendent Michael Gill urging them to be mindful of their choices so they could knock back the spread and the schools could stay open. So far, Hanover County has had 2,902 cases and 59 deaths, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
According to the announcement, Hanover High has seen more cases and quarantines than any other school in the county, which has resulted in employee absences that affect in-person instruction.
“As a result, we believe that we have reached a critical point where we are no longer able to sustain effectively our in-person operations,” the announcement read.
As of Friday evening, Hanover High clocked 27 cases on the school system’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Hanover County was one of only a few school systems across the state to offer full five-day, in-person instruction this semester. Sixty-percent of students went back in person and 40% went virtual.