CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Butts Road Intermediate School is the latest school to deal with the novel coronavirus inside its walls.
In the days following Thanksgiving break, 140 combined staff and students were placed under quarantine, after six individuals tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement to 13News Now, Richard Babb with Chesapeake Public Schools said for one day the school "requested assistance from a neighboring school."
"One staff member reported to the school and provided supervision for students during recess, and one staff member reported to the school to substitute for a classroom teacher," he explained.
Four remain under quarantine, according to Babb.
Supervisor of Health Services Trudy Jelderks said this brings the district's total number of quarantines to just under 1,000 since schools opened in September.
The number reflects quarantine efforts made by taking precautions for not only confirmed COVID-positive cases, but also presumptive cases.
“Those individuals will still treat as positive, so that leads to a higher number of quarantine numbers, but it’s the right thing to do to ensure the safety of both our students and staff at all times, " Jelderks told 13News Now on Thursday.
Health screenings and contact tracing efforts for up to two days prior are some of the other preventative measures Jelderks said the school system is taking, as the district is one of a few in Hampton Roads that still offer some type of in-person learning.
According to data provided by Babb, roughly 53-percent of students in the district have chosen "Option 1" learning, meaning in-person education. That includes middle and high school students on a blended model.
Roughly 47% of students chose "Option 2," for virtual learning.
COVID-19 cases are rising in Hampton Roads and across Virginia, as Gov. Northam issued new regulations Thursday to mitigate the virus' spread.
The City of Chesapeake has reported a 12.5% positivity rate over the last seven days.
Some teachers remain wary about the school's decision to continue in-person learning.
“I’m looking around and thinking, all of these people can’t be wrong. Why are we the odd ones out," one teacher and parent in Chesapeake told 13News Now. The instructor wanted to remain anonymous for the story.
Neighboring school districts, like Virginia Beach City Public Schools, have either remained, or returned to, all-virtual learning.
The anonymous teacher expressed several concerns over the district's COVID procedures, including the consistency of student screenings, and questions whether continuing in-person education is more trouble than its worth.
“Kind of like more shoveled on us when our plates are already full. It’s like, at what point, is the juice not worth the squeeze," they said.