Alexandria school leaders monitoring COVID cases; taking guidance from CDC

The CDC is recommending everyone – six months and older – get the new COVID-19 vaccine that’s expected to be available this Thursday. 

This comes after an end-of-summer spike in COVID-19 cases across the country and right here in our region. 

In Alexandria, school leaders say they’re monitoring COVID-19 cases, and taking guidance from the CDC and the local health department. 

Parents in the city say the thought of COVID-19 reentering the school building is frustrating.

COVID-19 spreading in the classroom is a concern for Mike Goodman who has a student at Alexandria City High School. 

"It’s like a Petri dish," Goodman said. "Germs are everywhere." 


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Dr. Robin Wallin, director of health services for the school district, says they are on top of it.

"I’m certainly keeping a very close tab on absenteeism, and we have not seen a spike in absenteeism," Dr. Wallin said. 

But they have seen a couple of clusters, including one at an elementary school. 

"Every school has probably had a few cases, but we have not seen large numbers yet," Dr. Wallin explained.  

They aren’t alone – an elementary school in Montgomery County required an entire classroom to wear masks for 10 days after an outbreak in the class. 

And over in Prince George’s County at the University of Maryland – a new COVID-19 policy requires students to isolate off campus, at home or in a hotel, if they test positive for COVID. 

In Alexandria, if a student or teacher tests positive for COVID – they must stay home. 

"I would like to see a majority of our community get vaccinated or wear masks, so we can beat this variant that’s out right now," Goodman said. "That would be a win-win for everyone." 

Alexandria City Public Schools says they do have mitigation strategies in place like increased filtration of HVAC systems, and of course, frequent handwashing. 

The district also offers free rapid antigen tests for families.