Numbers on the Rise: Will the 20164 COVID numbers impact just those schools?


This chart shows the numbers on 12/22. 20164 is always the highest positive rate in Loudoun County.

As elementary school children have returned to school and then sent home last week, and the date for other hybrid students returning fastly approaching, Covid-19 numbers are soaring over the stated thresholds set in place by LCPS and the CDC. 

In the zip code 20164, where Dominion High School is located, there has been a constant positivity rate over 10% which begs the question of whether zip code designations will matter when it comes to school opening?

David Goodfriend, Health Department Director for Loudoun County said, “Local decision makers can consider these indicators to help guide decisions related to school programming.  The first two ‘core’ indicators of disease transmission are intended to be combined with the third core indicator – a school’s self-assessed measure of their ability to implement five key mitigation strategies.  The positivity rate is one of the three core indicators.  The 10% level makes sense as it marks the difference between the ‘Higher Risk’ and ‘Highest Risk’ transmission levels.”

LCPS has not set guidelines per each zip code but rather for the whole county. Denise Corbo, the At-Large Member of the School Board said, “[As of] right now, we have just put the thresholds into place. Once we’ve reached the thresholds where it’s over 200, and the positivity rate is 10% for the entire county, we would have to sustain those numbers for five days before we would go to distance learning as a county.” 

In the areas with higher positivity rates, teachers are concerned for their own safety. “I [am] a former teacher. I have a lot of friends who work in the schools, teachers and administrators, and they have shared concerns that their areas are testing higher, so therefore, they were feeling more exposed. And, I understand that concern, but I also understand that we will follow what guidelines were given, and with the proper PPE, they should be safe,” Corbo said.

The LCPS school board had no say in deciding the metrics for returning back to school, but it was the Superintendent who developed the guidelines, according to Denise Corbo. The guidelines were made in light of the current pandemic situation, and also the possibility of outbreaks and rises in different areas. 

On Wednesday, December 9th, LCPS shutdown all elementary schools due to Covid. There is no date set for when students will return. 

Atoosa Reaser, the Algonkian Representative on the School Board, said, “ I hope to have more information from staff and other colleagues about the possibility of tailoring responses to smaller geographic areas.”

For parents and students who are uncomfortable with the high cases or who have been exposed to the virus, LCPS kindly asks that you do choose to stay home to reduce the spread. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified 3 core indicators as part of their K-12 school metrics. These indicators and thresholds can help communities better understand the risk of introduction and transmission of COVID-19 in schools.