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UPDATED: Fairfax County Public Schools to Close for Four Weeks

Updated at 4:10 p.m. — All Fairfax County public schools will be closed through school break until April 10, FCPS announced today (Friday).

While the staff development day scheduled for Monday, March 16, is postponed, school offices and central offices will be open that day to let students and staff get their things.

“We will promote digital and online resources to FCPS students that will help student learning continue,” FCPS said. “This work will not be required nor graded. Additionally, FCPS cable channels with learning activities are now available.”

Food distribution will also continue throughout the closures, FCPS said.

Earlier: Fairfax County Public Schools will be closed for two weeks as the state scrambles to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The move was mandated by Gov. Ralph Northam for all state schools earlier this afternoon. Northam ordered all K-12 schools in Virginia to close for a minimum of two weeks in response to the spread to the respiratory disease.

A spokesperson for FCPS said that more details on the closure are forthcoming, Reston Now reported.

As of Friday afternoon, Virginia has 30 cases of coronavirus with six in Fairfax County, according to the Virginia Department of Health. Test results have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

Here’s more from Northam’s office:

“We are taking this action to keep Virginians as safe and healthy as possible, and to minimize exposure to COVID-19,” said Governor Northam.

“I recognize this will pose a hardship on many families, but closing our schools for two weeks will not only give our staff time to clean and disinfect school facilities, it will help slow the spread of this virus. This is a fluid and fast-changing situation. We will do everything possible to ensure that students who rely on school nutrition programs continue to have access to meals, and that the disruption to academics is as minimal as possible.”

Virginia Department of Education officials are working closely with school divisions and the Department of Social Services to ensure students who qualify for free or reduced lunch programs are able to access those programs while schools are closed.

The Department of Education will issue guidance and memos to superintendents across the Commonwealth to provide specifics about the continuity of education, school nutrition, and updated public health guidelines.

Alexandria, the City of Falls Church and Arlington County announced places to remain closed beginning today (Friday) through spring break.

This story was written by Fatimah Waseem and appeared on our sister site Reston Now.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

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