Virginia closes all public schools for rest of school year

Sophia Ibrahim

As Virginia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 254, Governor Ralph Northam announced on Monday, March 23, that all public and private schools in Virginia will remain closed for the rest of the 2019-20 academic year.

Initially, Northam announced a two-week closure of all Virginia schools on March 13. The two week closure would’ve ended this upcoming Friday, March 27, but Northam elected to extend the closure through the rest of the academic year. 

Freshman Junior Reyes from Washington-Liberty High School in Arlington praised Northam’s decision, saying, “Governor [Northam] is taking all precautions needed to make sure the communities in Virginia are safe and healthy, and is making sure to keep everything under control so [Virginia] doesn’t become like other states.”

Junior Tiffany Ho from James Madison High School expressed frustration with the decision, saying, “As a junior I have a bunch of college things that I can’t complete [now].” Regarding her online school experience, she said, “This whole online school thing is not for me.”

Virginia has yet to order a shelter-in-place for its citizens, however the state has advised its citizens to practice social distancing and only leave their homes in case of emergencies. 

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the DMV had reached 1,227 by midday on Thursday, March 26. •