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UPDATE: Single COVID-19 cases confirmed at 4 Wood County schools

Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 5:20 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 4, 2020 at 6:13 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - UPDATE: 11/4/20 6:15 P.M.

Four new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Wood County schools on Wednesday.

The cases involve individuals at Edison and Hamilton middle schools and Gihon and Jefferson elementary schools, according to separate news releases posted on the district’s website.

School officials did not disclose whether any of the cases involved students or employees, and all of the affected schools will remain open.

UPDATE: 11/2/20 6:30 P.M.

Wood County Schools late Monday afternoon confirmed single COVID-19 cases at Parkersburg High and Vienna Elementary schools.

Earlier Monday, the district announced that single cases had also been confirmed over the weekend at five schools: Blennerhassett Elementary, Franklin Elementary, Parkersburg High, Williamstown High and the Wood County Technical Center.

School officials did not disclose whether any of the cases involved students or employees, and all of the affected schools will remain open.

UPDATE: 10/30/20 6:20 P.M.

Three more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Wood County Schools, officials announced late Friday afternoon.

They include a fifth case at Parkersburg South High School and cases at Edison Middle School and Jefferson Elementary School.

No other information about the new cases was released, including whether they involve students or employees.

The district said steps have been taken to inform those believed to have been exposed to the individuals who have tested positive.

Parkersburg South was closed on Thursday after the district was notified of a positive case late Wednesday, but all schools are scheduled to remain open on Monday as the district continues to operate under a blended-learning model in which students attend in-person classes two days a week between Mondays and Thursdays. Fridays are scheduled remote-learning days for all students.

The Board of Education on Tuesday unanimously approved a plan that will allow students to return to the classroom four days a week starting on Nov., 9 for elementary schools, Nov. 16 for middle schools and Nov. 30 for high schools.

Parents will have the option to send their children to school for those four days or have them learn remotely full time.

UPDATE: 10/28/20 6:25 P.M.

Two more COVID-19 cases were reported late Wednesday afternoon in the Wood County school system.

In a news release, the district said it had been notified by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department of positive tests involving an individual at Blennerhassett Middle School and an individual who works in the school system’s transportation department.

No other information about the cases was disclosed.

UPDATE: 10/26/20 6:15 P.M.

Two more cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Wood County school system.

The school district reported positive cases at Parkersburg South High School and Gihon Elementary School in a news release late Monday afternoon but did not say whether they involved students or school employees.

“At this time, we have already taken steps to inform individuals that we believe were directly exposed to the positive individual," the release said. “If you are not contacted by the principal or school nurse, no action is needed at this time. However, the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department is working closely with Wood County Schools to identify any other potential persons who may have had close contact with the individual that tested positive for COVID-19. If the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department determines contact has occurred with the positive individual, you will be contacted accordingly.”

There are no plans to close either school, a district spokesman said, and the district said it will continue to work with the MOVHD “to protect the safety and well-being of our students and staff.”

The case announced Monday is at least the third confirmed positive case at Parkersburg South since Oct. 8.

The Wood County school system, returned to green on Saturday’s state Department of Education COVID-19 alert map, is currently opening on a blended-learning model, with students attending in-person classes two days a week between Monday and Thursday. There are no in-person classes on Fridays, and students take part in remote learning whenever they are not at their schools.

UPDATE: 10/23/20 6 P.M.

Two more COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in Wood County middle schools, a spokesman said late Friday afternoon.

The cases involve single individuals at Jackson and Hamilton middle schools, but officials did not say whether those involved were students or school employees. Both schools will remain open.

Wood County Schools said in a news release that those believed to have been directly exposed to the people who tested positive have been contacted.

" If you are not contacted by the principal or school nurse, no action is needed at this time," the news release said, adding that the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department and the school system are working to identify anyone else who might have had close contact with those who tested positive.

UPDATE: 10/20/20 6:10 P.M.

Another COVID-19 case has been confirmed at Parkersburg High School, Wood County Schools said late Tuesday afternoon in a news release.

“At this time, we have already taken steps to inform individuals that we believe were directly exposed to the positive individual,” the school district said. "If you are not contacted by the principal or school nurse, no action is needed at this time.

“However, the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department is working closely with Wood County Schools to identify any other potential persons who may have had close contact with the individual that tested positive for COVID-19. If the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department determines contact has occurred with the positive individual, you will be contacted accordingly.”

The school district said it will continue to take appropriate actions while working with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department to protect the safety and well-being of students and employees.

All Wood County schools are currently operating on a blended-learning model in which students receive in-person instruction two days per week between Monday and Thursday. On days when students are not at their schools, they take part in remote learning. In addition, all students take part in remote learning on Fridays.

School officials confirmed the first case at the school on Oct. 8. Additional cases have been reported at Parkersburg South High School and Blennerhassett, Madison, Martin and Mineral Wells and Williamstown elementary schools.

Family members with concerns are asked to contact Cassie Andrews, the school nurse at Parkersburg High School, or Julie Bertram, Wood County Schools’ nursing coordinator. You may also contact the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department at 304-485-7374.

UPDATE: 10/20/12 5:25 P.M.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department and Wood County Schools Monday afternoon confirmed a second case of COVID-19 at Parkersburg South High School.

No quarantines were announced, but officials said anyone who needs to be quarantined as a result of the case reported Monday will be contacted by the health department.

No other information about the case was made public, including whether it involved a student or a school employee, and the school will remain open.

Officials previously confirmed a case at the school on Oct. 8.

Previous cases of the virus in Wood County Schools have been confirmed at Parkersburg High School and Blennerhassett, Martin and Mineral Wells elementary schools.

Wood County schools are currently operating on a blended-learning model in which students receive in-person instruction two days per week between Monday and Thursday. On days when students are not at their schools, they take part in remote learning. In addition, all students take part in remote learning on Fridays.

ORIGINAL STORY: 10/8/20

The Mid-Ohio Valley late Thursday afternoon confirmed single cases of COVID-19 at Parkersburg and Parkersburg South high schools.

A news release from Wood County Schools said “there are no recommendations to isolate or quarantine staff and students” and the schools will remain open with normal COVID-19 protocols still in place.

Officials did not specify whether the cases involved students or school employees.

The health department and school-district officials are working together to identify anyone who might have had close contact with either of the people who tested positive for the virus.

The health department said it investigates each positive COVID-19 case to identify and notify those known to be in close contact with infected individuals.

“If there is a chance that you, or your child, may have been exposed and the health department can trace that activity to you, you will be notified,” the health department said. “Please understand that contact tracing and testing takes time and that there are levels of contact: low, medium, and high. Notifications will be made while maintaining confidentiality when a close contact is confirmed and quarantine is necessary."

The MOVHD also said its policy is to notify school officials when an employee or student is placed in quarantine.

Wood County Schools, meanwhile, said it will “continue to take appropriate actions, working in collaboration with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, to protect the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.”

Wood County schools are currently operating on a blended-learning model in which students receive in-person instruction two days per week between Monday and Thursday. On days when students are not at their schools, they take part in remote learning. In addition, all students take part in remote learning on Fridays.

Previous cases of the virus have been confirmed at Blennerhassett, Martin and Mineral Wells elementary schools in Wood County.

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