Fayette County saw red again Saturday night, forcing the county school system to revert to remote learning and putting extracurricular activities on the shelf for at least another week.
On Friday, Fayette, which had been gold, moved into red status on the West Virginia Department of Education's metrics map which dictates school attendance and extracurricular participation. Red indicates at least 25 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 county population on a seven-day rolling average, and it triggered a move back to remote learning for Fayette after having in-person instruction on Thursday and Friday. All sports activities in Fayette County were canceled Friday and Saturday.
With 23.24 cases per 100,000 on Friday, the county dipped back into orange status on the daily county alert system map on the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources' website Saturday morning. However, the WVDE's Saturday evening map, which is guided from information from the DHHR, vetted by a Covid-19 data review panel and utilized to determine county school status for the coming week, had Fayette in the red. Joining Fayette in red, which indicates substantial community transmission, were Kanawha, Mingo and Putnam counties. Those counties must move to or remain in remote learning, and no extracurricular competitions or practices are permitted. Staff may report to their schools, as determined by the county. Fayette staff members are reporting to their buildings.
Orange counties included Boone and Monongolia. Remote learning is required, and extracurricular activities are limited to conditioning only, and sport-specific practice is not permitted. Marching band is limited to outdoors only.
Logan, Ohio and Wyoming counties are listed in the gold classification, in which in-person instruction is permitted with increased mitigations including face coverings for children grades 3-and-above at all times. Extracurricular activities are permitted in-county (with schools from the same county) and with other gold counties.
Yellow counties, including Clay, Mercer, Monroe, Nicholas, Raleigh and Summers, can continue with in-person instruction, and extracurricular practices and competitions can be staged. At a minimum, health and safety precautions include face coverings at all times for grades 6-and-above.
Green counties include Greenbrier, McDowell, Pocahontas and Webster.
The weekly updates are posted at https://wvde.us/reentrymetrics. The county color announced each Saturday at 5 p.m. is in effect until the following Saturday at the same time, with the exception of a county turning red as the week progresses.
The Covid-19 Data Review Panel Saturday explored information from a public health perspective to determine its accuracy and reliability to ensure it is a true indication of what is occurring among counties across West Virginia. Among the actions the panel took was moving Pocahontas County from gold to green due to the exclusion of linked and contained cases which are now recovered. Cabell and Lincoln also moved upward.
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Fayette County Schools Superintendent Gary Hough said Saturday the county continued to operate under red guidelines until the Saturday map was revealed. No games or practices occurred on Saturday.
He said Friday that Thursday's combined school attendance in the first day onsite was about 80 percent of the students who were supposed to be in attendance, and Friday had a similar rate of attendance.
No Covid-19-related problems occurred either day, Hough said.
One of the aims in getting students back in school — at least briefly — was to allow them to become more familiar with platforms being utilized for remote learning, Hough had said previously. "We accomplished what we wanted to accomplish."
With the schools being back to remote learning for this week, Hough said meals will be distributed on Thursday at the individual schools. No extracurricular competitions or practices are permitted.
For more information, visit https://www.boe.faye.k12.wv.us/ or follow Fayette County Schools on Facebook and Twitter.
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