School to start as scheduled Tuesday in Northern Panhandle; Brooke County yellow, all other local counties green
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has released its Saturday evening map of COVID-19 throughout the state, and it shows that as of now, all Northern Panhandle counties will start classes in-person on Tuesday as scheduled.
Outside of Brooke County, which currently is in the yellow for COVID-19 in terms of the number of cases per 100,000 on a rolling, seven-day average, all other Northern Panhandle counties — Hancock, Ohio, Marshall, Wetzel and Tyler — are in the green, meaning less than 3 cases per 100,000 residents.
Statewide, only one county — Monongalia — will start the first week of classes in the red, meaning all schoolwork during the first week of classes will be done online. Monongalia County has seen a surge in new cases over the past several days due primarily to new cases among West Virginia University students. The county went into the red Friday morning, and led to the cancellation of football games Friday night and also the cancellation of today’s scheduled soccer games between Wheeling Park and Morgantown High.
Eight West Virginia counties are in the orange as of Saturday evening — meaning students there also will do remote learning for the week. Orange counties can have sports practices, but all games for the coming week are cancelled.
The orange counties are Kanawha, Putnam, Fayette, Wayne, Logan, Mingo, Mercer and Monroe.
Nineteen counties are in yellow, which means they can start the school year with in-person instruction and also hold athletic events. Counties in yellow are Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Grant, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Mason, Marion, McDowell, Raleigh, Roane and Wyoming.
Each week, the COVID-19 Data Review Panel will verify the data used to inform the WVDE School Metrics Map to ensure both accuracy and reliability. Although Monroe County is red on the WVDHHR’s County Alert System Map, it was determined that it should be changed to orange on the WVDE map.
“Upon further review of the data by the Panel, it was determined that Monroe County should be moved to orange status,” said WVDHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch. “This is because the county’s daily number of cases and the average seven-day incidence have declined sufficiently to meet the criteria for orange. From this analysis, the panel concluded the level of COVID-19 transmission in Monroe County was improving.”
The county color announced each week 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.