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Major Virginia teacher's union calls for schools to be closed until at least August of 2021

Calls for no in-person instruction until 'widely available' vaccine or 'highly effective' treatment.

Updated: October 20, 2020 - 4:01pm

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A major teacher's union in Virginia's largest school district is calling for schools in that district to remain closed until at least August 2012 over fears of COVID-19 outbreaks. 

A petition linked from the Fairfax Education Association's website calls on community members to "draw the line" to "protect the health, safety, and well being of students, school staff, their families, and communities."

The petition asks county leaders to keep "Fairfax County Public Schools virtual for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year."

"​Science and Health Safety data support and require that no one should return to in person instruction until there is a widely available scientifically proven vaccine or highly effective treatment," the document continues. "The metric for Safe Reopening should be 14 days of zero community spread."

The teacher's union calls for several criteria to be met before even "high needs" families are allowed to return to in-person instruction, including new HVAC systems, widespread distribution of protective equipment, staff-wide COVID testing, and telecommuting options for both staff and families. 

"Since none of the requirements for safe return are likely to be met in the foreseeable future of the 2020-21 school year," the petition finishes, "we reiterate: Keep Fairfax County Public Schools Virtual for the 2020-21 school year.

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