Parents concerned after some kids in Virginia Beach have to quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure

COVID-19 masks schools
Posted at 3:51 PM, Sep 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-30 18:34:42-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The tragic news of the death of Teresa Sperry is weighing heavy on the minds of some Virginia Beach parents who recently got a call that their children must quarantine for 10 days.

Officials say it was because of a possible COVID-19 exposure while riding the school bus.

News 3 spoke to two mothers Thursday about their concerns.

Parent Angel Shearer said, “They made it sound emergent to pick up the child from school.”

She said close to dismissal time on Wednesday afternoon, they got a call from the Virginia Beach school district administration notifying them that their children have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

But the mothers say they got mixed messages.

Parent Bri Connaughton said, “Then they’re like, ‘Oh, no, it’s okay. He can just stay here the rest of the day.’”

She said she then got a call two minutes later that told her he could ride the bus home.

The bus going to and from Kempsville Meadows Elementary is where the possible exposure happened.

The moms we spoke to wanted to know why the entire bus full of students wasn’t quarantined.

A spokesperson for Virginia Beach City Public Schools said in this case, close contact is defined as anyone within three feet of an infected student since both sides were wearing masks, which means the entire busload would not need to stay home. Sondra Woodward said the district worked with the Virginia Beach Department of Health to decide who an exposure on a bus would affect. She said anyone sitting next to or in the seat in front of the infected student would have their parents contacted.

VBCPS verified that one class at Kempsville Meadows would be closed temporarily starting Friday because of the high number of students quarantined.

Parents said they were especially concerned knowing that 10-year-old Teresa Sperry of Suffolk died this week from COVID complications.

Parents with questions are asked to call their individual schools.

Related: Hampton Roads, northeastern North Carolina school districts create hubs for COVID-19 information as school year gets underway

Here are links with more information on cases in the VBCPS district:

Click here for more Safely at School coverage.