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Fairfax Co. Delays Return to In-Person Instruction

Fairfax County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Braband and the county school board decided to postpone reopening its doors for at least a month, just days before a hybrid plan for in-person learning was set to begin.

Braband pitched his Return to School Plan — which would have restarted in-person learning on Jan. 12 — during a Tuesday work session with the school board, but after listening to safety concerns of board members, school staffers and union members, the superintendent suggested pushing back the date, WTOP reported.

“What we need to do right now is say we’re taking a pause, and let everybody take a big exhale,” the superintendent said during a video conference, WTOP reported. “Let me take time, and make sure people don’t feel rushed, talk to teachers and teachers’ associations and principals and principals’ association and get a plan that I bring back Feb. 2.”

On expressed concern was the lack of a vaccination plan for teachers and school personnel. County Health Director Gloria Addo-Avensu said although school employees are considered essential workers slate for the second round of vaccinations in Virginia, the state hasn’t finished vaccinating health care workers, long-term care residents and others in Phase 1A, WTOP reported.

The health director could not verify when vaccinations would begin for educational professionals.

Braband said he is working with the county executive on the vaccination timeline. Meanwhile, he will host a virtual town hall at 6 p.m. Wednesday regarding the returning to in-person instruction.

As of Wednesday, Fairfax County has roughly 47,000 coronavirus cases and 707 virus-related deaths, according to health department statistics.

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