UPDATE: Wood County returns to green on WVDE’s school-alert-system map

Wood County Schools to continue hybrid learning method
Published: Sep. 12, 2020 at 10:22 PM EDT
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Wood County has returned to green on the West Virginia Department of Education’s school-alert-system map after a week under the stricter gold level. Not much changed for Wood County students during their week under the gold code, as the school district had already been operating under a hybrid in-person and remote learning system. The major change came for students involved in sports. All three Wood County public high schools had to reschedule football games as a result of their color change last week, which only allowed them to compete with other gold counties. This week, all three are free to compete with schools in green and yellow counties. However, there will likely be changes, as Parkersburg High School and Williamstown High School were both slated to play schools that are in gold counties on this week’s map.

Several other Mid-Ohio Valley counties are in the green or yellow categories this week. They include: Pleasants (green), Ritchie (yellow), Roane (yellow), and Calhoun (green).

While Wood County was able to drop two tiers into the green category, neighboring Wirt County remains Orange on this week’s map. Under the orange tier, no in-person learning can take place and all extracurricular activities are suspended with the exception of some conditioning.

Jackson County and Dodridge County are both gold on this week’s map, meaning local school and health officials will have to decide if they feel students can safely attend school in-person. Extracurricular competitions like football games can only be played in-county or with other gold counties.

There is only one county under the red color code this week, Wyoming County. No in-person learning or extracurricular of any kind can continue under the red category.

UPDATE: 10/18/20

Wood County has turned gold on the West Virginia Department of Education’s school-alert-system map. School and health officials in gold counties must collaborate and decide if in-person learning in feasible under current conditions. According to a spokesman for Wood County Schools, the district will continue to utilize their hybrid learning method. This method allows students to have a couple days of in-person learning in a given week, while the other three days they learn remotely.

While it’s up to school and local health officials to determine whether in-person learning is viable in gold counties, it is not up to them to determine if extracurriculars can still happen. Schools in gold counties can only compete in extracurricular activities with other schools in-county or in other gold counties. That means several football games have been changed for this coming Friday in Wood County. You can read about those here.

Wood County School officials are expected to reevaluate their hybrid learning method in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Wirt County is orange on this week’s map. That means students there have to learn remotely and all extracurricular competitions are cancelled. Students can continue to condition for sports, though.

Across the whole state, there is only one county in the red zone this week, Doddridge. Red is the highest category for COVID-19 transmission and it carries the heftiest restrictions. All in-person learning is suspended in Doddridge County and students cannot participant in extracurriculars of any kind.

UPDATE: 10/10/20

In this week’s edition of the West Virginia Department of Education’s school-alert-system map, most of the Mid-Ohio Valley was coded in the lowest tier for COVID-19 spread, green. However, Wirt County rose to tier 2, yellow.

Students in yellow counties are still able to participate in extracurricular activities and attend class in-person. School officials are suppose to limit assemblies and mass gatherings and increase cohorting among students.

Jackson County was colored gold in last week’s update, and it remains that way this week.

Students in gold counties can only participate in extracurricular competitions in-county or with other gold counties. Local health and education officials must work together to determine whether or not in-person learning can continue in these counties.

No counties in West Virginia reached the map’s highest tier, red.

Four counties are in the second highest tier, orange, though. Students in Dodridge, Harrison, Upshur and Mingo Counties won’t be able to attend class in-person this week. They also can’t compete in afterschool competitions.

UPDATE: 10/3/2020 5:00 P.M.

The West Virginia Department of Education released this week’s update to the school-alert-system map.

No counties in the Mountain State have turned red this week, but a few did rise to the gold level, including Jackson County. Turning from yellow to gold, Jackson County health and education officials will now have to decide if students should be learning in-person or remotely. Schools in Jackson County won’t be able to compete in afterschool athletics, except with other schools also located in gold counties.

Five other counties are gold on this week’s update. They are Barbour, Berkeley, Dodridge, Kanawha, and Randolph Counties.

In the category between gold and red- Boone, Upshur, and Harrison Counties are color coded orange this week. Students in these counties will learn remotely and will not be able to compete in extracurriculars at all. They will, however, be allowed to condition for sports.

Wood, Wirt, Ritchie, Pleasants, Calhoun, and Roane counties are green on this week’s map, meaning schools in these counties can operate with minimal restrictions.

UPDATE: 9/26/2020

No counties are color-coded red in this week’s update to the West Virginia school alert system map.

There are two counties in the second worst category, orange. Those two counties are Kanawha County and Wayne County. Students at schools in these counties will have to learn remotely, but will be allowed to condition for sports. They still won’t be able to have full practices or competitions though.

Just five counties are in the third worst category, gold. Students in Fayette, Mingo, Marshall, Logan, and Summers counties will be able to learn in-person, if local health and education officials decide that’s appropriate. Schools in gold counties are only be able to compete with each other in sports.

All 48 other counties in West Virginia are colored yellow or green, meaning there are minimal restrictions for in-person learning and for competing in sports.

UPDATE 9/19/20 5:00 P.M.

The West Virginia Department of Education’s School Alert System Map has been updated. Officials from the COVID-19 Data Review Panel made three changes this week.

Cabell County was moved from gold to green as the case rate per 100,000 people has dropped below 3 percent.

Lincoln County was moved from gold to yellow because there were less than 20 aggregate cases over 14 days. Lincoln County was assessed with a 14-day average rather than a 7-day average due to the number of cases being below 20.

Pocahontas County was moved from gold to green due to the exclusion of linked and contained cases who are now recovered.

Locally, Ritchie, Pleasants, Tyler, Wood and Wirt counties remain in the green, meaning there are less than three coronavirus cases per 100,000 people on a seven day rolling average or that the positive test rate has stayed at or below three percent. Under this color code, a county school system can continue in-person learning. They are also able to continue extracurricular activities like football. Sporting events are limited to immediate family members and grandparents only.

Jackson, Roane, and Calhoun counties are yellow, meaning there are between three and 9.9 cases per 100,000 people on a seven day rolling average or the county has a positive test rate at or below four percent. Under the yellow color code, schools can continue in-person learning, but stricter mask requirements are in place and schools are encouraged to increase cohorting among students. Football teams are also cleared to continue playing.

State officials added a new color to the map this week, that being the color gold. Gold counties have between 10 and 14.9 cases per 100,000 people on a seven day rolling average, or a positive test rate at or below five percent. The three counties at the gold level as of Saturday are Logan, Ohio, and Wyoming counties. In gold counties, extracurricular competitions can only take place within the county or with other gold counties. No large assemblies are permitted at school.

Monongalia County and Boone County are the only two counties in the second worst category, orange. Orange means there are between 15 and 24.9 cases per 100,000 people in the county on a seven day rolling average. For schools, this means no in-person learning can take place. Extracurricular activities like sports practices and competitions cannot take place. However, students can work on strength and conditioning to stay in shape for when they can return to competition.

The counties seeing the most cases are Fayette, Kanawha, Mingo, and Putnam. They are colored red for 25 or more cases per 100,000 on a seven day rolling average. All learning in red counties is done remotely and extracurriculars are suspended.

West Virginia released an updated School Alert System Map Saturday just after 5 p.m.

The color coded map shows which county schools can continue or begin in-person learning. It also controls which schools can have extracurricular activities.

In the Mid-Ohio Valley, Wood, Wirt, Pleasants and Ritchie Counties are green, meaning there are less than three coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the county. As a green county, schools can continue in-person learning and extracurricular activities can continue. Immediate family members will be allowed at sports competitions.

Dodridge County turned yellow this week, meaning in-person learning and extracurriculars can continue, but only parents or guardians will be allowed sports competitions. There are also stricter mask guidelines in place for students. Calhoun, Roane and Jackson Counties are also yellow.

Boone County has turned orange, meaning extracurricular activities will be limited to strength and conditioning only. That means Wirt County High School’s football game against Van cannot be played under state guidelines. This is the second game in three weeks to be cancelled for Wirt.

More details can be found on what each color code means can found by clicking here.

Copyright 2020 WTAP. All rights reserved.

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