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Gov. Jim Justice: Schools in W.Va. on pace to start Sept. 8; Sports can take place if schools are open

Photo Courtesy of the Governor’s Office Gov. Jim Justice gestures during his coronavirus briefing Friday in Charleston. The state had its most deaths this week since April.

Gov. Jim Justice Wednesday reaffirmed that schools will open on Sept. 8, and that the state will institute a color coding system that will take into account COVID-19 cases, transmission rates and other factors on a county-by-county basis to determine if schools can remain open.

The governor said the code system would include status of green, orange, yellow and red. These codes will determine, on a county basis, if in-class attendance is safe.

High school sports, as well, played into the governor’s Wednesday press conference. He said if students are in class and a county is deemed safe, sports contests will take place. However, if a county sees its schools shut down due to spiking COVID-19 numbers, and students are being educated virtually at home, sports contests will be cancelled.

“We don’t play sports if schools (are) closed,” Justice said.

He also recommended the West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission find “innovative” ways for rankings with the realization that some schools could see fewer contests because of outbreaks.

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