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WJCC parents adjust to quarantine after hundreds of COVID-19 exposures in first weeks of school

WJCC students .JPG
Posted at 4:13 PM, Sep 14, 2021

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — The first day of school was exciting for the Voss family, especially London, who just entered middle school.

“They're loving it this year, especially my sixth grader. He's very social, and he's pretty upset that he can't go back right now,” explained Naomi Voss.

London is just one of more than 300 students in quarantine this week in Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools.

“I battled with actually sending them to school and not doing it just virtual, but my youngest has dyslexia, so he needs a lot of the extra help. It was very detrimental to him last year; he fell quite far behind,” explained Voss.

Voss says her boys left school early Friday to take a family trip to the mountains, and that’s when they got a phone call from the school nurse.

“He had an exposure on that Tuesday. I'm assuming the kid went to school, wasn't feeling good Wednesday; they got him tested on Wednesday and didn't get the results until Friday morning, and that's why we did get notified 'til then,” she says.

As of Tuesday, 16 students in the district and one staff member have been reportedly infected, which is significantly less than the hundreds now quarantining in the first two weeks of school.

The school district says it’s had cases where entire classes and groups of students have had to return to remote learning already this year — another challenge for the Vosses.

“Yesterday, trying to figure out how to get back on the virtual again after having a whole summer off, I was like, 'I have no idea anymore,'” said Voss. “So, that was a little rough, but within the hour, you know, we had gotten some help - I just had to call, like, four different people.”

Mom says they were notified because London was within three feet of a student who tested positive for longer than 15 minutes.

The school district reports just 31% of students ages 12-17 are fully vaccinated.

Related: Virginia Department of Health weighs in on risk of COVID-19 at school

Voss says she expects quarantine could become a regular routine this school year but is eager to get her son fully vaccinated for an extra layer of protection.

Click here for more Safely at School coverage.