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West Liberty Elementary School in Ohio County Closed Due to COVID

Miller

WHEELING — West Liberty Elementary School is closed and students will immediately transition to remote learning from home for now after an employee at the school tested positive for COVID-19 Monday.

In total, four employees within Ohio County Schools tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, but no students did, according to Superintendent Kim Miller.

Earlier on Monday, there had been a call out from Wheeling Park High School indicating a student there had been inflicted with the virus. Miller said this was false.

Monday afternoon, the Ohio County Health Department also released a statement stating “no children were identified as a contact” of any of the school employees testing positive for COVID-19.

Miller updated board of education members Monday night on the status of COVID-19 in the schools.

All schools in Ohio County, with the exception of West Liberty Elementary, will remain on the current four-day a week in-school schedule for students, with Wednesday being a cleaning day in the buildings.

West Liberty Elementary is now at “Level 3,” meaning students there will do remote learning from home at least until the end of the week, according to Miller.

The closure at West Liberty is due to staffing issues, she told board members. Six of the school’s staff members are now in quarantine due to direct contact with the inflicted staff member, and it was determined that the building closure was necessary.

She said a WPHS custodian also tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, as did a bus driver and a transportation aide within the school district.

In total, 15 staff members at WPHS determined as direct contacts now are in quarantine. As of now, WPHS will remain open, according to Miller.

She said school district administrators are working with Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department Administrator Howard Gamble “to ensure all those who may have come in contact with the virus have been notified.”

Operations Director David Crumm and his staff also are making certain all safety and sanitizing procedures are being followed in the school buildings, according to Miller.

“Our Ohio County Schools plan is working….” Miller told board members. “Due to our platform, education will continue seamlessly.”

Students and their families have the option of doing all remote learning from home this semester if they choose to do so, and Miller said there are 1,449 students doing remote learning within Ohio County Schools.

“Our plan is to stay the course and continue with four-day instruction at least until the end of the semester,” Miller said. “We have excellent teachers throughout Ohio County Schools, and they are prepared to do whatever is necessary to meet the needs of our students. We are collecting data and evaluating online options for the second semester.”

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