First case of COVID19 in Botetourt County Public Schools


The school system informed parents on Friday that a student or staff member tested positive for COVID-19. [SUBMITTED PHOTO]

On the final day of the school year’s first week, parents and guardians of Buchanan Elementary students were informed that a student or staff member had tested positive for COVID-19. Later, via email, the school board further specified that the infected individual was an employee of an outside organization which “ services students using our facilities.” The decision was made that Buchanan Elementary will remain open for the time being, with precautions being taken to disinfect impacted areas of the building.

In the letter, parents were informed that the school was working closely with the Roanoke and Alleghany Health Department to trace contacts of the individual and inform any individuals, or their guardians, of potential exposure. Individuals who have not been contacted by the health department do not need to self-isolate or alter their schedules. Parents and community members are reminded to:

  • Stay home from school or work if sick, even if symptoms are mild.

  • Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue (or sleeve), and then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

  • Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

The letter from Superintendent Dr. Jonathan Russ was posted only the Buchanan Elementary School website and sent to Buchanan Elementary parents, but can be found at