A total of 91 Halifax County Public School students and eight school employees were quarantining at home by Thursday due to either testing positive for COVID-19 or due to being in close contact with others who have tested positive for COVID-19.

This total comes days after three positive cases of COVID-19 were identified in two elementary schools with Halifax County Public School on Tuesday and Wednesday. More than a dozen students also tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the first day of school, along with two school system employees.

Since the start of school, two positive cases were identified at Meadville Elementary on Tuesday and Wednesday, and one positive case was identified at Sydnor Jennings Elementary School on Wednesday.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lineburg declined to say if the three individuals who had been diagnosed with COVID-19 this week were students or employees in an effort to protect privacy.

The Virginia Department of Education considers schools with 0 to 9 new cases per 100,000 persons in the past seven days as having low transmission, schools with 10 to 49 new cases as moderate transmission and 50 to 99 substantial transmission.

The school system, VDOE and Virginia Department of Health also look to see if the cases are believed to be from community spread, are sporadic or if they’re several outbreaks in a school within a short period.

Parents of Halifax County Public School students received notifications on Tuesday and Wednesday alerting them of the positive cases while saying that the Halifax County Health Department has been notified along with contacts who need to quarantine as well.

In the notification to parents on Wednesday, the school system noted that the second case of COVID-19 identified at Meadville Elementary was not linked to the first case.

When a positive case is identified then school nurses work to identify individuals who have been in close contact for at least 15 minutes with the individual who has become sick, the superintendent explained.

Personal calls are then made to the families whose children need to quarantine, Lineburg added.

As part of their COVID-19 plan, “everybody in the entire division,” receives notifications when a case of COVID-19 is identified in the school system.

Looking at the county as a whole, as of Thursday, Halifax County had a seven-day average of seven cases of COVID-19, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

When comparing surrounding school districts, Danville City Schools reported on Thursday there have been a total of 78 confirmed COVID-19 cases among students and nine employees since Aug. 9.

Pittsylvania County Public Schools have 29 active cases of COVID-19, according to their online dashboard.

The superintendent has said time and time again that this school year was going to “be a bumpy ride ahead.”

But, Lineburg believes they have the right mitigation strategies in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

When walking through Halifax County Middle School and Halifax County Middle School recently during class change, he said everyone was wearing their masks and following protocols.