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GEHS Transitions To Remote-Learning After Positive COVID-19 Test

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Credit: Greenbrier East High School

With Greenbrier East transitioning to remote learning this week, the West Virginia Department of Education once again updated their color-coded county map on the evening of Saturday, October 17.

Both Greenbrier and Pocahontas counties remain designated as green this week. However, Monroe County has been upgraded to yellow. Pocahontas County has seen nominal increases in both infection rate and percent positive over the past week.

On Sunday, October 11, the county’s infection rate was 1.73%, and their percent positive was non-existent. Seven-days later, and those numbers are 2.60% and 0.59% respectively.

Conversely, Monroe County has seen their numbers skyrocket; going from an already-high infection rate of 9.69% on October 11, to 23.14% one-week later. Monroe County’s percent positive has experienced a similar increase, rising from 2.25% to 5.28% over the same seven-day period. Greenbrier County falls somewhere in the middle. The County’s infection rate has gone from 2.47% to 6.49%, and their percent positive increased from 1.13% to 2.14% since last Sunday, October 11.

On Friday, October 16, an email was sent out to parents of Greenbrier East High School students.

“We wanted to communicate that the Greenbrier County Health Department has notified our administration of a positive COVID-19 test for an individual linked to our school. Contact tracing confirms this person was not in attendance during their contagious period,” the email stated.

And then on Saturday, October 17, through a post on social media, Greenbrier County Schools stated that, “An individual at Greenbrier East High School has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, all Greenbrier East students will learn remotely beginning Monday, October 19, through Wednesday, October 21, to allow for contact tracing and additional sanitization. All extracurricular and athletic activities are canceled through Wednesday. Those activities may resume at the conclusion of the school day on Thursday, October 22. Contact tracing is underway, and those identified as close contacts will be notified and quarantined.”

School officials confirmed that the “individual linked to our school” was not a student.

Greenbrier County Superintendent of Schools Jeff Bryant said that making the decision to pivot to remote-learning was a “precautionary action.”

“This is a very similar situation to what we experienced with West (Greenbrier West High School) a few weeks ago,” Bryant said. “We have a cleaning crew coming in first thing tomorrow. They’ll be using the mist and the disinfectant machines.”

On September 20, a student at Greenbrier West High School tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the school to transition to remote-learning until Thursday, September 23 to allow for proper sanitization of the facility.

Bryant further stated that cleaning and custodial crews, as well as administrators will be the only individuals on campus until in-person learning resumes on Thursday, October 22.

The West Virginia Department of Education will next update the color-coded county map on Saturday, October 24, at 5 p.m.

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