Some families looking to send their kids back to school may have to wait just a little bit longer.
The Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools announced on Tuesday most students won’t start transitioning to hybrid-learning classes until Feb. 22 at the earliest.
Officials said the setback is due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in the community, contract tracing delays at the health department and the process of vaccinating teachers and staff.
This news comes a week after the school division announced students would start on Feb. 1.
RELATED STORY: WJCC Schools extend remote learning two weeks
“It is essential that we begin the process of vaccinating teachers and employees as soon as possible, beginning with those who will be the first to come in face-to-face contact with students,” the WJCC Schools announcement explained. “In the simplest possible terms: the more vaccinated people, the less the risk of spread in our community and the greater the opportunity to get back to a more ‘normal’ daily schedule.”
“Given the need for timely contact tracing, the current health metrics, and the need to get teachers at least the first dose of the vaccine, we must push back the return of students for in-person learning as follows,” the division added. You can see the timeline below.
The school division noted it is working with the City of Williamsburg, James City County and local hospitals for a community vaccination clinic but is not sure how long the vaccination process will take, adding it could “stretch into early February.”
As of Wednesday, two students and staff members tested positive for the virus this week, with 38 staff members currently in quarantine, according to the WJCC COVID-19 Dashboard. You can view the data by each school here.
Here are the latest numbers for the Peninsula Health District, which includes the Historic Triangle, courtesy of the Virginia Department of Health’s website:
YOU MIGHT WANT TO CHECK OUT THESE STORIES:
- COVID-19: Officials express frustration with wait for vaccine distribution plan approval
- Gov. Ralph Northam details plans for teacher raises, abolishing death penalty
- More inclusive: Local principal, teacher to help review history education in Virginia
- City of Williamsburg launches new dashboard to track vaccine data
- Williamsburg Regional Library closes buildings due to rising COVID-19 cases
- Dr. Anthony Fauci to join W&M President Rowe for virtual community conversation
- Artwork for all: Williamsburg City Council discusses proposed Public Art Council
- W&M Men’s Basketball weekend games against Charleston postponed