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HCPS Central Office hit by virus, School Board meeting postponed / October 14, 2020
An outbreak of COVID-19 at the HCPS Central Office has forced the postponement of the Halifax County School Board meeting set for Thursday, Oct. 15.

The new date for the monthly meeting of the School Board has been set for Monday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m. in the Halifax County Middle School cafeteria.

Superintendent of Schools Mark Lineburg announced the meeting postponement in a media release Wednesday morning. “An increase in COVID-19 cases in our community has affected our workforce. In particular, a number of employees at Central Office have tested positive while others are awaiting the results of test,” the statement read.

In follow-up comments, Lineburg said he cannot give an exact number of persons at the Central Office who have tested positive for COVID-19 because the number is “changing every day.” Test results are pending for a number of administrative staff and other employees.

Lineburg said he plans to be tested Thursday.

Separately, the superintendent confirmed a single positive case of COVID-19 at Scottsburg Elementary. Through contact tracing, several employees at the school have been quarantined. No students have been affected, Lineburg said.

Halifax County Public Schools is committed to diligently following health guidelines to halt the spread of the disease, he added.

“We are adhering to Virginia Department of Health guidelines,” said Lineburg. “We are going through this worried about all the families and doing our very best. We don’t want to see anyone sick.”

The disruption of the School Board meeting calendar and problems at Scottsburg Elementary come in the wake of a sharp rise in cases at the county’s two golf clubs, Halifax County Country Club and Green’s Folly Golf Course. An unknown number of persons in local golfing circles have contracted the disease, according to club members who have asked to remain unidentified. A private party, held separately at a residence, also is said to have fueled the spread of the coronavirus.

In the next few days, the Central Office area of the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax will undergo deep cleaning and sanitizing.

The School Board had been scheduled to discuss the eventual return of students to school classrooms at the Oct. 15 meeting. The full release announcing the meeting postponement is below:

“The Halifax County School Board meeting scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15, at Halifax County Middle School will be postponed until Monday, Oct. 26, at 6:30 p.m. An increase in COVID-19 cases in our community has affected our workforce. In particular, a number of employees at Central Office have tested positive while others are awaiting the results of tests. We feel it is in the best interest of our students, our staff, and our community to delay the School Board meeting until we can determine the full extent of this recent COVID-19 spread.

“Central Office staff will work from home for the next couple of days while we sanitize the office area and determine the extent of the outbreak. We do not believe that there has been exposure to any students from our staff. As always, the safety of our students, families, employees, and the broader community is our number one priority.”

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