Hillsboro Charter Academy switched to remote learning yesterday after at least one student tested positive for COVID-19, and about 20 other students entered quarantine as close contacts.

“This seemed like the best way to prevent any significant spread,” Principal Paul Vickers said. Vickers did not say how many students have tested positive.

Students are finishing the term with asynchronous learning. HCA is set to begin winter break on Friday and return to school on Jan. 4.

HCA follows the school division’s COVID-19 mitigation protocols. Students, staff, and visitors must wear masks while indoors, unless eating or participating in physical education.

According to the school division’s tally, as of Dec. 15, there are 269 active cases reported among all students and staff members. There are 469 students and staff quarantining as close contacts.  People who may have had immediate exposure to a person who has tested positive are considered close contacts. 

Health Department Director Dr. David Goodfriend has credited the school division’s indoor masking requirements as a key factor in preventing the large-scale spread of the virus on school campuses. 

Providence Academy, a private Christian school in Leesburg that parents said did not impose mask requirements, switched to remote learning on Dec. 2 after a large outbreak resulted in 40 students testing positive. Parents and siblings of students were also infected. The school reopened Dec. 11.

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