VERO BEACH, Fla. — Teachers and students returned to Beachland Elementary School in Vero Beach on Tuesday after the school was closed for nearly two weeks because of COVID-19.
A spokeswoman for the School District of Indian River County said the school was shut down on Aug. 26 because of positive cases among students and staff members, along with a shortage of employees.
While the school was closed, all students had to switch gears and take virtual classes.
Principal Rachel Fennigan on Tuesday morning helped direct traffic as both students and staff members returned to Beachland Elementary School.
Fennigan said everyone has a clean bill of health, with the exception of a few employees who are still wrapping up their tail-end of quarantine.
"It was a decision that needed to happen for the health and safety of all of our stakeholders and to come back," Fennigan said. "It’s just exciting. It’s a school. A school should be a positive and safe place."
"I have to say, I feel even a little bit more comfortable because it was shut down," said parent Raquel Beverly. "Everyone was home. Everyone was quarantining. I know they were really working on cleaning the school and all of that."
Treasure Coast Elementary School near Sebastian was also forced to shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That school is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 13.
A facial covering mandate is currently in effect for the School District of Indian River County. From now until at least Sept. 15, all K-8 students must wear face masks inside school buildings and on school district transportation with no ability to opt out. The only exceptions are for children with certain medical conditions.