FCPS Halts Return to In-Person Learning

Joseph Triolo, News Editor

The FCPS School Board halted Dr. Brabrand’s initial plan to return all students by early February.

At their work session last night, the board voted with a strong majority to pause all return to school plans until they reconvene for another meeting on February 2nd, where they will discuss the current state of COVID-19 in the community. Dr. Brabrand’s initial plan was to bring all students back by February 9th. The Board and the Superintendent reserved the right to move forward with his initial plans if the health data supported it. Dr. Brabrand will meet with the board for an interim meeting in two weeks to provide updates on vaccinations, health metrics, and governor guidance. 

The move comes as the percent positivity rate in Fairfax County continues to rise. As of January 5th, the positivity rate is at 12.5% and cases per 100,000 people are at 510.1 according to the FCPS dashboard. Hospitals have also faced a recent increase in hospitalizations bringing the total to 83.6% beds occupied. The VDH’s school dashboard lists 90% beds occupied as a severe risk. 

Virginia has added over 5000 new cases for four separate days this week. Governor Northam held a press conference at 2 p.m. on January 6 where he discussed updated vaccination plans.