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Ohio County ‘yellow’ under new COVID-19 school map; in-person classes, sports can go on

The new COVID-19 school map has been released, and Ohio County is yellow, meaning students will be in school next week barring enough cases to turn the county red.

The school map contradicts the county-level map issued at 10 a.m. Saturday, which showed the county as orange, meaning it had 10 or more cases per 100,000 residents over the past seven days.

However, state Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, said discussions he had with state officials indicated the state panel that determines the school map started working with data as of Thursday evening.

The county, as yellow, means in-person classes can be held and sporting events can take place.

Here is information provided by the West Virginia Department of Education:

Each week, the COVID-19 Data Review Panel will verify the data used to inform the WVDE School Alert System Map to ensure both accuracy and reliability. For the panel’s review, data from the DHHR’s County Alert Map as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, September 10, 2020, was captured and thoroughly analyzed. This may result in differences between the WVDE map and the DHHR County Alert Map.

The county color announced each Saturday at 5 p.m. will be in effect until the following Saturday at the same time. The only exception is if a county turns red during the week. That change would be made immediately to the WVDE map because all in-person instruction and extracurricular and athletic activities would be suspended.

All schools, both public and private, are expected to adhere to the WVDE School Alert System map to guide in-person instruction and extracurricular activities.

Red (Substantial Community Transmission): Counties that are red must move to remote learning mode. No extracurricular competitions or practices are permitted. Staff may report to their schools, as determined by the county. Essential support services, including special education and meals, will continue. Counties in red include Monongalia.

Orange (Heightened Community Transmission): Counties in orange will be required to activate remote learning on Monday. Extracurricular practices are limited to conditioning only and sport-specific practicing is not permitted. Marching band activities must be limited to outdoors only. For complete details, please visit the WVDE metrics and protocols at https://wvde.us/reentrymetrics.

Staff may report to their schools, as determined by the county. Essential support services, including special education and meals, will continue. Counties in orange include Boone, Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, Mingo, Monroe and Putnam.

Yellow (Increased Community Transmission): Counties that are yellow will continue with in-person instruction. Extracurricular practices and competitions may occur. Health and safety precautions include, at a minimum, face coverings at all times for grades 6 and above. Please refer to your county for specific requirements. Counties in yellow include Berkeley, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Grant, Greenbrier, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, McDowell, Mercer, Ohio, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, and Wayne.

Green (Minimal Community Transmission): Counties that are green will continue with in-person instruction. Extracurricular practices and competitions may occur. Health and safety precautions include, at a minimum, face coverings in grades 3 and above when students are outside of core groups and in congregant settings and on school buses. Please refer to your county for specific face covering requirements. Counties in green include Barbour, Braxton, Gilmer, Hardy, Hampshire, Lewis, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Mineral, Morgan, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pleasants, Preston, Randolph, Ritchie, Tyler, Webster, Wetzel, Wood, Wirt and Wyoming.

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