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ACPS: With COVID numbers on rise, no change in plans to return to in-person classes on January 3

Despite high numbers of new COVID-19 infections, Alexandria City Public Schools plan on fully reopening from winter break on Monday, Jan. 3.

“ACPS continues to use the current health and safety guidelines provided on our 2021-22 Health & Safety Guidance web page,” Julie Crawford, ACPS Chief of Student Services and Equity, told ALXnow. “At present, there is no change to our return plans after winter break.”

As of today (Wednesday, Dec. 29), there have been 18,319 cases of COVID-19 in Alexandria, which is an increase of 505 cases since Monday, according to the Virginia Department of Health. There were 174 cases of COVID-19 reported in ACPS in December, and 411 total cases reported since school started in August.

The seven-day average of daily new cases in the city is now 261, up from 248 on Monday. The number of deaths has risen by four to 161, although the Alexandria Health Department says the new fatalities were city residents who died out of state in 2020.

Just as with Thanksgiving, the Alexandria Health Department recommends avoiding crowds, getting COVID-tested three-to-five days after returning from the winter holiday and getting vaccinated.

Additionally, the Alexandria Health Department released the following quarantine guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • For people who are unvaccinated or not recently vaccinated (more than six months after their second mRNA dose or more than two months after the J&J vaccine), CDC now recommends quarantine for five days followed by strict mask use for an additional five days. If the recommended five-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.
  • Individuals who have received their booster shot or are recently vaccinated (less than six months after their second mRNA dose or less than two months after the J&J vaccine) do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for ten days after the exposure.
  • For anyone who is exposed, is it best to get tested for COVID-19 on the fifth day after the last known exposure. If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms that symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.

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