Operations at some north central West Virginia school systems affected by coronavirus cases

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UPDATE (9/28/20 2:39 p.m.):

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – North Elementary School in Monongalia County is also dealing with coronavirus cases.

According to Monongalia County Superintendent Eddie Campbell, the school has two cases, one from Sept. 14, and the other from Sept. 21. The school notified the health department about the cases and has worked with it to conduct contact tracing. Anyone who has been in close contact with the patients has to quarantine or get tested in order to return to the school.

Campbell said the cases affected one student and one staff member and are unconnected. Operations at the school have not been affected.

The school has undergone a deep cleaning following the emergence of these cases, according to Campbell.

ORIGINAL STORY (9/28/20 11:42 a.m.):

Some school systems in north central West Virginia are adjusting their operations due to coronavirus outbreaks.

In Barbour County, Superintendent Jeff Woofter released a statement on Facebook about the operations there this week.

According to the release, Barbour County Schools has been in contact with the Barbour County Health Department regarding a spike in positive COVID-19 cases in the county. Individual classrooms in two different schools had a student test positive for the virus, and there is another possible positive case in another classroom in a different school, said Woofter.

The county has had some students and/or staff who have been tested out of the county, and the health department has not received the results of those tests in a timely manner, according to the statement. Initially, the school system was just going to quarantine the classrooms with the positive tests; however, Woofter said they decided to go full remote for the next three days instead. This is to help the health department catch up on contact tracing and to allow the health department to coordinate with other local health departments regarding any students or staff members who have tested positive outside of Barbour County. The statement said there has been community spread of the virus.

Woofter said faculty and staff members have been asked to stay at home on Monday and Tuesday. Teachers will need to make themselves available to students on those days through email, phone, or through Google classrooms. As of the statement, which was released Sunday, all staff members will report Wednesday for cleaning their work areas. All sports practices and competitions will be postponed until Thursday.

While the West Virginia Department of Education indicated that Barbour County is green this week on the color-coded map, Woofter said more positive cases came into the health department this weekend than any other week this year. Barbour County is now orange on the DHHR’s daily map.

Free COVID-19 testing will be held Tuesday, Sept. 29 in Barbour County. Testing will be conducted 10 a.m.–2 p.m. at the Barbour County Fairgrounds.

In Doddridge County, there is a second confirmed case of coronavirus at Doddridge County Middle School, according to the board of education and the health department. The entire fifth grade class, including some teachers, is at home in quarantine until Oct 9.

The BOE said the school is using the health department’s recommendations for its decisions. The health department said not all students have been tested, but parents have been told to get kids tested if they start to show symptoms.

The West Virginia Department of Education began listing outbreaks in schools on its website last week. In north central West Virginia, in addition to Doddridge County Middle School, North Elementary in Monongalia County and the Tucker County school system are listed.

This story will be updated as 12 News receives more information on these situations.

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