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JONESVILLE — Lee County school officials have pushed back a return to in-person classes almost two weeks, and the county school board will consider extending that until the end of January.

Superintendent Brian Austin on Wednesday announced that a return to in-person classes has been postponed until Monday, Jan. 25. Austin on Jan. 4 ordered a delay from post-holiday return to classes to Jan. 11 for Thomas Walker High School because of staffing difficulties with regular and substitute teachers because of cases at that school.

On Jan. 6, Austin extended that order to all county schools until Jan. 18. Wednesday’s order pushes that out an extra week to Jan. 25.

According to Virginia Department of Health COVID-19 health data for January, Lee County overall has seen 319 cases and three related deaths since Jan. 1.

On Wednesday, Austin also sent a letter to parents of students at Rose Hill Elementary School and Lee High School informing them that each school has seen at least one staff or student case reported during the week of Jan. 5-9.

Austin said the School Board will consider an action item of Thursday’s meeting agenda to extend the in-person class delay through Friday, Jan. 29. The board meets at 6 p.m. at the School Board Office at 155 Vo Tech Drive, Jonesville. Meetings can also be watched live on the Lee County Schools YouTube channel, online at heritagetv.com, Comcast Channel 266 and Sunset Digital channel 3.