Following a recent uptick in core indicators of local coronavirus spread, Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Eric Williams announced Thursday the school system will return to 100-percent distance learning Tuesday, Dec. 15.
As of Thursday morning, the COVID-19 new case incidence rate had risen to 394 out of 100,000 Loudoun County residents over the past two weeks, while the percent positivity rate is now at 10.4 percent within the same time frame, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
During its Nov. 18 meeting, the Loudoun County School Board decided LCPS would return to full virtual learning if the county exceeded 200 new positive cases per 100,000 persons and a 10 percent positivity rate within a 14-day period.
Earlier this week, Williams further clarified LCPS would only suspend all hybrid and in-person learning if the county surpassed the "highest risk level" thresholds for five consecutive business days.
According to LCPS, the VDH has retroactively updated metrics for the previous few days, indicating both core indicators had attained "highest risk level" status as of Sunday, Dec. 6.
"If one of these metrics drops below its action threshold on Friday, December 11, or Monday, December 14, the five-day counter would reset to zero and restart when both metrics again exceeded their thresholds," the superintendent wrote Thursday. "LCPS does not anticipate that happening before December 15."
Williams added the School Board and school system senior staff will discuss plans to reinstate the ongoing hybrid learning implementation plan during the Dec. 15 board meeting.
"We understand that this process is disruptive for families of students who have been participating in hybrid in-person learning this fall," he wrote. "The safety and well-being of all students, staff members, their families and the community continues to be our highest priority, and this decision is being made consistent with our commitment to achieving that objective."