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W.Va. unveils color-coded system for reopening of schools

Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 4:13 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 at 4:28 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - The West Virginia Department of Education has released a color-coded system that will be used to determine whether individual counties are allowed to reopen schools to in-person instruction.

Gov. Jim Justice said the metric developed by the Department of Health and Human Resources will be measured on a seven-day rolling average of the number of new daily cases that are population adjusted per 100,000 people.

Each county will be assigned one of four colors: green, yellow, orange or red and Justice said an updated map will be posted at 9 p.m. on Saturdays

Green indicates that a county is experiencing minimal community transmission. Those counties will be allowed to operate under general re-entry guidelines but must continue to follow best health practices to prevent the spread of the disease.

Yellow will be for counties experiencing moderate community transmission, and increased restrictions might be necessary.

Orange will be for counties experiencing higher community transmission, and further restrictions will be necessary. As for sports, teams will be allowed to practice but games/competition will be stopped while a county is orange.

Red will be for any that is experiencing substantial community transmission. Under these conditions, all in-person instruction is suspended and remote learning plans are to be activated. Staff will provide essential support services, including meals, student engagement, and special education. All sports activities and competition will also be halted.

Officials announced the ranking will go as follows:

Green: fewer than seven cases per 100,000 people

Yellow: 8-15 cases per 100,000 people

Orange: 16-24 cases per 100,000 people

Red: More than 25 cases per 100,000 people

Based on the new metric, Justice said the United States is currently tracking at 16, which would place it in orange.

If the map were active on Friday, Justice said Logan County would be listed in the red, while Grant and Mingo Counties would be orange.

He also said that any county that is listed as orange on Sept. 8 will also begin the school year virtually until the county moves back to yellow or green.

The metric will be continuously evaluated by the DHHR and be updated weekly on the agency’s online dashboard and map resources.

Copyright 2020 WTAP. All rights reserved.

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