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West Virginia School COVID Map Going Away

CHARLESTON – With nearly three months left in the school year, Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that the color-coded map used to determine whether to close schools for in-person learning is going away.

“We’re going to stop using our color-code system for high schools in West Virginia,” Justice said during his Wednesday coronavirus briefing at the State Capitol Building in Charleston. “This system has been very valuable to us…it has been argumentative at times, but it has served us well.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Resources County Alert System color-coded map, only Jefferson County is in the red as of Wednesday, meaning that high schools must close for in-person learning.

Justice and state health and education officials unveiled the color-coded map system for the first time last August to determine what schools could re-open in last fall. Starting off with four colors and based loosely on the Harvard Global Health Institute’s color-coded map to track infection rates, West Virginia’s map grew to five colors, ranging from green to red.

During the fall, any school in the orange and red categories had to switch to distance learning until the county’s colors went into the gold, yellow, or green categories. That changed going when students returned to school in January, with only high schools being required to close when they enter the red category.

Justice also announced that live music can resume starting at midnight, and summer camps can resume starting May 1.

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