Reporting of school COVID cases questioned

Private schools to begin testing in red counties
Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 6:06 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WTAP) - West Virginia health officials-and Governor Jim Justice-fielded questions Wednesday about reporting of COVID-19 cases-or the lack of reporting-in schools.

The governor and his Health and Human Resources cabinet secretary both say school cases are not currently reported statewide because its difficult to determine whether, in singular situations, the cases involves a student or a teacher.

DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch says socal health departments have to investigate those cases before they can get to the state.

Justice also announced testing will soon begin in several Christian and private schools located in counties with the highest “red” alert level.

“They will significantly help all the public schools from the standpoint that they are 100% being tested," Justice said, "and their numbers will reflect well to our public schools and really be able to help our public schools, and help get them started back.”

Interestingly, Wednesday was the first time since the color-coded map came out last month that no counties were in the “red”.

Justice also addressed reports that a number of bars in Monongalia County-closed much of this summer after virus outbreaks in that county-prompted a lawsuit by several of the bars. The governor is named as defendant in the case.

While defending their right to take that action, the governor said the ban was issued to stop the spread of the virus in that county.

The bars were closed during much of the summer after large virus outbreaks in Monongalia County, but after they were allowed to reopen at the end of August, large crowds and little distancing resulted, prompting Justice to order them closed again.

And at the end of the briefing, the governor was tested to show residents how easy it is. Justice has urged residents to get COVID-19 tests the past few days to help officials determine the spread of the virus and, hopefully, bring the number of cases down.

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