PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Prince William County schools are set to open normally on Monday, Jan. 3, Despite the surge of COVID cases in Northern Virginia.

The return of students from the holiday break comes as COVID cases are on the rise, with an increase of 500% in the county due to the omicron variant.

Superintendent LaTanya McDade released a statement regarding the decision to have students learn in person, “As we continue to endure this rapidly changing global pandemic, PWCS remains committed to providing instruction to our students, in person, within our school buildings. We know in-person instruction is best for students academically, socially, and emotionally. It is clear the negative impact the last 20 months of this pandemic has had on children, as well as the families we serve,” said McDade.

School officials also said home tests and a new test to stay policy would be implemented in the near future.