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Bedford County Public Schools sees first staff COVID-19 death, Lynchburg-area school divisions report 79 cases this week
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Bedford County Public Schools sees first staff COVID-19 death, Lynchburg-area school divisions report 79 cases this week

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A Bedford County Public Schools staff member died this week due to complications from COVID-19.

At its Thursday night meeting, the Bedford County School Board held a moment of silence for Charles Ragland who died Jan. 13 according to his obituary. Jason Johnson, who was elected as chairman of the board at Thursday’s meeting, said Ragland suffered complications from COVID-19. This is the first COVID-19-related death reported by the division.

Ryan Edwards, spokesperson for the division, said Ragland was an employee in the division’s transportation department.

Johnson said he hoped for “peace and comfort to the family and all who knew and loved Mr. Ragland.”

This week, Lynchburg City Schools and schools in the Campbell, Bedford, Amherst and Nelson county school divisions reported 80 new positive cases of COVID- 19. Together, these area school divisions have reported 619 total COVID-19 cases since their school years began.

As of Friday, Virginia has seen 422,634 cases of COVID-19 — an increase of 4,795 since Thursday, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Lynchburg City Schools reported 17 new positive cases of the virus this week, bringing its total number of cases reported since September to 123. LCS is set to bring around 500 additional students into school buildings at the start of its second semester next week.

Bedford County Public Schools reported 40 new positive cases of COVID-19 this week.

One case was reported at each Huddleston Elementary School, Moneta Elementary School, Montvale Elementary School, Susie G. Gibson Science and Technology Center and the Alternative Education Center. One case also was reported involving an individual in the division’s remote learning academy, Bedford Connects. Two cases were reported at Liberty Middle School, and two were reported among non-school-based employees.

Three cases each were reported at Goodview Elementary School, Staunton River High School and Staunton River Middle School. Four cases involved individuals at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School.

Eight cases were reported at Liberty High School and nine cases were at Jefferson Forest High School.

The division has reported 304 total cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the school year.

As of Friday afternoon, Campbell County Public Schools had reported nine new cases of COVID- 19 this week. The division has reported 101 cases of the virus since its school year began in September. The division does not identify where the cases occurred.

Amherst County Public Schools reported 12 new cases of COVID- 19 this week: five at Amherst County High School, two each at Amelon Elementary School and Monelison Middle School, and one each at Amherst Middle School and Central Elementary School. Amelon Elementary School closed due to staffing issues related to COVID-19, the division announced Monday, and will reopen Tuesday.

Amherst County Public Schools has reported 74 cases of COVID-19 since its school year began.

Nelson County Public Schools reported two new cases of COVID-19 this week, as of Friday afternoon. The division has reported 17 cases since beginning the school year in a remote-only learning model in August.

The Virginia Department of Health reported 19,741 total COVID-19-related hospitalizations and 5,656 COVID-19- related deaths as of Friday.

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