On Nov. 16, the Henrico County Public School board came out with new information regarding the return to in-person classes. In response to the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases, Henrico County delayed the expansion of in-person learning for younger students. Originally, Pre-K through second graders were supposed to return on Nov. 30, but now the estimated date of return is Jan. 11. For third through fifth graders, the return date has changed from Dec. 7 to Jan. 14.
For now, the February return dates for middle and high school in-person learning remain the same. However, it is speculated that if the number of Covid-19 cases continue to rise, it could affect all of the dates or possibly result in another semester of all online-learning.
Because of the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam has taken action with updated mandates in the state. First he changed the maximum capacity of all public and private in-person gatherings from 250 people to only 25 people. This includes both indoor and outdoor events, but it does not include restaurants and schools. For masks, all Virginians age five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces. All essential retail businesses, including grocery stores and pharmacies, must follow state guidelines. Now, violations of these mandates are classified as Class One misdemeanors. These updated guidelines in response to the rising number of cases throughout the country are an effort to reduce the cases and protect Virginians.
In the United States, COVID-19 cases continue to increase. The United States has two vaccines in the undergoing clinical trials: one by Moderna and one by Pfizer. These vaccines are both given in two doses. Both vaccines have gone through the first and second stages of testing and are now in the clinical trial phase. Scientists are giving the vaccine and the placebo to tens of thousands of people from all different walks of life. After phase three of testing the vaccine will be made available to healthcare workers and people on the frontlines dealing with COVID-19. Shortly after that it will be available to people with a high risk of catching the virus, and then to the general public.