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Surge in COVID cases leads Orange schools to go all-online

CULPEPER — Orange County Public Schools will shift to an all-virtual model starting Wednesday and continuing through at least Jan. 15.

The school division announced the in-person school closure Monday, citing "the surge of COVID-19 cases in our community and due to the burden that our health care system is currently experiencing."

School administration said OCPS would not be participating in any athletic activities or competitions during this time.

"We believe these two measures will provide a safer environment for our students and employees during the current surge," according to a post on the division’s website.

Students had been meeting twice a week in-person in Orange schools since the academic year began in August.

Tuesday will be a student holiday and teacher workday to allow staff to work out logistical challenges of the closure, according to the division.

"We will continue to review our community transmission daily. Any changes in our learning modality will be communicated with you as soon as possible and as data allows," the school system said.

Orange County surpassed the 1,000-case mark in the past few days, rising to 1,035 cases as of Monday, compared with 892 cases a week ago, according to the Virginia Department of Health. There have been nine new hospitalizations in the past week in the five-county health district that includes Orange and Culpeper.


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