CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) has posted the September 5, 2020, School Re-entry Metrics and Protocols map as part of the School Alert System. This map determines which counties will open their school year with in-person instruction and it will direct the level of extracurricular activities permitted for the week of September 6 – 12.
Guided by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (WVDHHR) County Alert System and vetted by the COVID-19 Data Review Panel, the WVDE Re-entry map provides an objective health measure for determining the safety of in-person instruction and related activities. The weekly updates are posted at http://wvde.us/reentrymetrics.
Counties with higher levels of community spread of COVID-19 will not commence in-person instruction this week and will begin the year with remote learning. Students enrolled in their county’s virtual school option will not be impacted by the map updates. The color-coded updates are as follows:
Red (Substantial Community Transmission): Counties that are red will commence the school year in 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 that are orange will commence the school year in remote learning mode. Extracurricular practices may occur, however, competitions may not. 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: Fayette, Kanawha, Logan, Mercer, Mingo, Monroe, Putnam and Wayne.
Yellow (Increased Community Transmission): Counties that are yellow will commence the school year 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 three and above. Please refer to your county for specific face covering requirements. Counties in yellow include:
Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Grant, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Mason, Marion, McDowell, Raleigh, Roane and Wyoming.
Green (Minimal Community Transmission): Counties that are green will commence the school year with in-person instruction. Extracurricular practices and competitions may occur. Health and safety precautions include, at a minimum, face coverings in grades three 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, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Lewis, Marshall, Mineral, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Randolph, Ritchie, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Webster, Wetzel, Wood and Wirt.
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 Saturday at 9:00 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 Re-entry map to guide in-person instruction and extracurricular activities.