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Monroe County Schools Upgraded To Orange; GEHS To Begin 2nd. Straight Week Remote

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Credit: Greenbrier East High School

The West Virginia Department of Education has updated their color-coded county map once again. The update occurred on Saturday evening, October 24, and determines what restrictions will be imposed on in-person school activities for the week of Monday, October 26, through Friday, October 30.

Once again, both Greenbrier and Pocahontas Counties remain designated as green, while Monroe County has been upgraded to orange. Monroe County currently has an infection rate of 31.75% and a percent positive of 4.88%.

As a result of the orange designation, all learning must be done remotely. However, this is something that Monroe County has been doing for the past week, even before being upgraded to the orange designation.

On the evening of Saturday, October 24, Monroe County Schools released the following statement via social media, “Monroe County Schools is considered orange on the state map which means we will have another week consisting of remote instruction. We will have more information coming on food delivery this week.”

The WV Daily News will provide an update on food delivery once Monroe County Schools have finalized their arrangements.

On Thursday, October 22, it was announced that another student at Mountain View School had tested positive for COVID-19. School and county health officials confirmed that the student was not in school during their infectious period.

At the other end of the spectrum is Pocahontas County. After experiencing a spike of infections early on in the school year, the county has been consistently green for the last four-weeks. Currently, the infection rate in Pocahontas County is 6.06%, while the percent positive is 1.26%.

And once again, just as they appear on the state’s map, Greenbrier County lies somewhere in the middle. Although the county is still designated as green on the color-coded map, the county’ infection rate has been fluctuating between seven and nine-percent over the last seven-days. However, at 1.57%, Greenbrier County’s percent positive is the lowest it has been since last week.

Unfortunately, on Saturday, October 24, Greenbrier County Schools announced that Greenbrier East High School would be pivoting to full remote-learning for the second consecutive week.

Through a statement posted on social media and messages sent to media and parents, school officials said, “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 26, through Wednesday, October 28, 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 29. Contact tracing is underway, and those identified as close contacts will be notified and quarantined. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone is urged to follow best health practices. This includes wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing, hand washing and cleaning protocols regularly.”

Greenbrier East High School began last week in the same manner, and Greenbrier West High School had a similar situation three-weeks ago. The West Virginia Depart of Education reports that there are active outbreaks in 21 schools across the stated. However, schools in neither Greenbrier nor Monroe Counties are among those defined as current outbreaks.

The Department of Education’s updating of the color-coded county map comes on the heels of last week’s call by state officials for “extra precautions,” due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases nationwide.

“When we look around the country, we see the number of cases is picking up,” West Virginia coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said on Friday, October 23. “Yesterday (October 22) we had 71,000 positive cases in the United States, which is a three-month high.”

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