Coronavirus Update - Message from the Superintendent - March 12

Coronavirus Update - March 12

Dear FCPS Community,
As you may know, some school divisions in our region have announced school closures. These actions prompted a number of inquiries regarding the operating status of FCPS.
We have been in consultation with the Fairfax County Health Department and their experts continue to assure us that the coronavirus risk in our community remains low.   
Our schools remain open.  Other school divisions in Northern Virginia are also staying open.  
I want to share with you a statement from Dr. Gloria Addo-Ayensu, Health Director, Fairfax County. 
“I support the Fairfax County Public School’s decision to remain open at this time. To date, the individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Fairfax have been associated with travel to affected areas or are close contacts of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. They contracted the illness through direct exposure rather than through sustained community spread. Schools serve an important and vital function in our community. Keeping schools open, whenever possible, is critical at this time. If, and when, it is determined that our contact investigations show any connection to the school system, we would provide closure guidance and recommendations. These would be based on sound, public health principles. If a confirmed case of COVID-19 is identified in a school (staff or student), our recommendation would be to close that particular school for 2-14 days, depending on the level of exposures, for cleaning and contact tracing. We would monitor students and staff and re-open after that time.”
FCPS, however, is taking additional actions today and we want to update you. 
•    Effective Saturday, March 14, all extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, and after-school programs are canceled until April 12.  SACC centers will remain open. 
•    Effective Saturday, March 14,  all community use activities conducted by groups not affiliated with FCPS  are canceled until April 12.
•    Effective Saturday, March 14, all field trips are canceled through April 12.   As you know, we had previously canceled all overnight trips and day trips to New York through April 12. 
We will share with you updates about today’s decisions by March 31. 
Monday, March 16, remains a student holiday/staff development day.  
We are also reviewing our food service and food handling procedures.  Please be assured that we are working with our community partners to maintain food distribution to children and families throughout our community.  Local food banks and non-profit organizations that run weekend backpack and emergency food programs are essential partners in this effort. 
Many of our schools and PTAs are canceling school-based events due to anticipated low turnout.  We fully understand the decisions being made by the event organizers as we recognize the ongoing concern among our families. We truly hope that many of these events will be rescheduled as we recognize they are an important part of a student’s educational experience.  
We will continue to keep you updated as new developments emerge.  We are doing our very best to make decisions in the best interest of our students and staff. Thank you for your cooperation to ensure we are providing the healthiest and safest environment possible. 
Scott Brabrand, Superintendent
Fairfax County Public Schools