March 11th Update

March 11th Update
Posted on 03/11/2020

Dear HCPS Families, Faculty, and Staff,

The school division continues to work closely with the Hanover Health Department, as well as other local, regional, and state partners, to prepare for, respond to, and recover from any potential impact the new coronavirus (COVID-19) may have in Hanover. As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff remains our first priority.

We are aware that a Hanover County resident recently tested “presumptive positive” for coronavirus disease (COVID-19). We have confirmed with the Hanover Health Department that this individual does not attend Hanover County Public Schools.

In the meantime, we are following our response plans to ensure we are as prepared as possible. We have increased our cleaning efforts in all of our schools and buses, and we are using additional disinfectants in areas where there have been higher instances of student absences due to illness. In addition, we are continuing to stress the importance of healthy habits and hygiene to prevent the spread of illnesses, and we ask for your help with reinforcing this with your student(s).

As this public health concern evolves in Virginia and throughout the nation, we must make difficult decisions. Without exception, we base our decisions upon what we believe is in the best interest of all students, and we take this responsibility very seriously. As a result, please note the following important updates:

Field Trips/School-Sponsored Trips

Outside of Virginia—all trips canceled for students and staff through April 13.

As a proactive measure and out of an abundance of caution to protect the health and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff, all school- and school division-supported trips (field trips, athletic trips, etc.) outside of Virginia are canceled through April 13. This includes trips to Washington, D.C., as well as staff travel to meetings, conferences, etc.

The terms of each contract will determine whether refunds are permitted. If a refund is not included as part of the agreement, we will work with the vendor to attempt to reschedule the trip or recover the funds. We will return any student-paid funds that we are able to recover; however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to recover these funds

Within Virginia—all trips will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The spread of COVID-19 is continuously changing. We will work with public health officials to evaluate all trips on a case-by-case basis to determine if travel is recommended or not.

Spring Break Travel

We strongly urge families and staff to carefully review and adhere to the travel warnings and guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which may change frequently.

Please note, if you are travelling to a country with a Level 3 Travel Health Notice (China, Iran, Italy and South Korea) that the CDC guidance states: “Travelers should stay home for 14 days after returning to the United States and practice social distancing.”

We are asking that all families and staff traveling to these countries strictly adhere to the CDC guidance. If students are staying home for 14 days, please notify your school immediately to allow school administration to assist with getting work to students who are self-quarantined.

School Closures

There are no plans to close schools at this time. Any decisions to close schools will be made in direct consultation with the Hanover Health Department, with whom we are in regular contact. They are the foremost public health experts, and we rely upon and follow their guidance. We are currently evaluating all possible options to help ensure continuity of instruction if a closure is deemed necessary. We will communicate any new information or changes that may be necessary as quickly as possible. In the meantime, please take a moment to update your contact information at your child’s school and through our Blackboard Connect portal.

Help Prevent the Spread of Illnesses

1. Stay home if you are sick.

  • Avoid close contact with others and seek medical treatment if necessary.
  • If you have a fever, do not return to school until you are fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

2. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. 

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Put your used tissue in a wastebasket. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve.  

4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Additional Resources:

To learn more about COVID-19, visit:

Should you have additional questions, you may contact:

  • The Hanover Health Department: (804) 365-4313
  • The Virginia Department of Health Hotline: 1-877-ASK-VDH3
  • Hanover County Public Schools Health Services: (804) 365-4500

We hope this information is helpful to you. We will provide you with any additional guidance that we may receive to ensure you are fully informed. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts to help keep our students and staff healthy and safe.


Dr. Michael Gill
Superintendent of Schools

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