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Virginia Beach City Public Schools to reevaluate return plan, citing rising COVID-19 numbers

All grades are set to return to in-person instruction starting Thursday, if students chose that option. However, COVID-19 cases and positivity rates are rising.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Beach City Public Schools leaders are taking another look at a plan for students to return to in-person learning this week. 

VBCPS administrators will present new health data and options to the school board on Tuesday night, to see if the district will "potentially [postpone] that return."

Two weeks ago, Virginia Beach announced its plan for all grades to return for in-person learning starting this Thursday, November 12. Since then, coronavirus cases and positivity rates have risen in Virginia Beach.

VBCPS administrators have said the transition from virtual to in-person learning for students must be based on COVID-19 metrics remaining stable or improving.

A VBCPS letter to families says: “We need to be sure that’s happening." 

But that’s in doubt. Right now, the Virginia Beach positivity rate is 6 percent, double what it was one month ago. The average number of cases per week is also on the rise.

However, both categories are still in the ‘yellow’ zone designated by Virginia Beach schools, which allows for in-person instruction.

Virginia Beach schools are closed Wednesday for the Veterans Day holiday. The current plan allows for grades 7, 8, and 10 through 12 to return to school under a hybrid plan at least twice a week, if students chose that option.

About 40 percent of Virginia Beach students opted for virtual learning this entire semester. They will be allowed to stay at home.

School board members are expected to decide whether to proceed with the in-person instruction plan at the Tuesday meeting.