Two employees of Fauquier County’s C.M. Bradley Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19, but the cases are not being considered an “outbreak” because they have not been determined to be related, according to state and local officials. 

Two school-wide communications were sent last week to faculty and staff regarding the sick employees. One was hospitalized and one was said to be recovering well, the messages said. 

The school division contacted the Virginia Department of Health regarding the cases on Monday, July 27, and has followed all Virginia Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention procedures, said Tara Helkowski, school division spokeswoman, in an email Sunday. 

The VDH’s Rappahannock-Rapidan Health District has not reported any outbreaks in educational settings in connection with the cases. The VDH defines an outbreak “at least two confirmed cases of COVID-19” stemming from a mutual exposure.  

RRHD Health Director Dr. Wade Kartchner said the Bradley Elementary cases did not qualify as an outbreak because the health department could not verify the cases are related to the school. 

“In defining an outbreak, in addition to numbers, we need to ascertain whether or not transmission is occurring at a given location between people. Because if community transmission is occurring, the likelihood of two people testing positive and who just happen to work in the same place is fairly high,” Kartchner said. 

“In this instance, our investigation leads us to believe that is the case, and we haven't seen any further transmission at that particular workplace. Subsequent tests on others have been negative,” he added. 

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