FEB. 28 UPDATE: Based on the CDC’s revised guidance and the declining number of weekly COVID-19 cases in our community, HCPS is no longer requiring students or adults to wear face masks while on the school bus or at school. The division strongly recommends universal mask use indoors by students during times of high community transmission; however, school leaders understand that some parents and guardians will opt their children out. Masks are strongly recommended but not required for employees, volunteers and visitors to schools and HCPS offices. Because of recent milestones related to vaccination rates, infection rates and testing, there are other changes in our schools: 

Volunteers: HCPS has moved to a two-tier system for volunteers: 

  • When the community transmission level is greater than or equal to 50 new cases per 100,000 persons for the previous seven days and greater than or equal to 5% positivity on PCR tests during the previous seven days, volunteers may work inside or outside of buildings. When inside, they could volunteer in the office area or copy room but wouldn’t be able to volunteer in classrooms, the cafeteria or gym. 
  • When the community transmission level is less than 50 new cases per 100,000 persons for the previous seven days and less than 5% positivity on PCR tests during the previous seven days, volunteers may return to working in classrooms, the cafeteria or gym.

Outdoor recess: Since returning to in-person instruction, students have been assigned to small groups for outdoor recess to limit exposures and aid contact tracing. These “cohorts” of students will now be a bit larger and may include more than one class. In case contact tracing is needed, schools will monitor these larger groups. Specifics will depend on the size of a particular outdoor play area, and number of total students. 

In response to the pandemic and to changing health conditions, HCPS continues to use multilayered mitigation strategies such as improved HVAC systems and air scrubbers, well-fitted multilayer face masks, COVID-19 screening testing and vaccinations. We are also limiting the number of visitors and volunteers in our schools to reduce possible exposure.

FAQ about COVID-19 and the 2021-22 school year

The Virginia Department of Health provides a tool from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, called CDC K-12 School Metrics, to aid school systems in decision-making about in-person instruction. To see the data, click the link and select “Henrico” under locality, as well as the week. The committee is using that information as part of its analysis.