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Ritchie County Schools talks COVID-19 measures

HARRISVILLE — Ritchie County Schools is continuing its efforts to keep the school community safe and kids in school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Superintendent Jim Brown, for the first five weeks of the school year, no positive cases were reported within the school system.

“We had a lot of students who had symptoms and were tested. We did really well,” he said.

The first positive case was tracked back to a student at Harrisville Elementary and at that time, all students in the classroom and some employees were placed in quarantine.

A Ritchie County Middle School student also tested positive and several were placed in quarantine as a precaution.

“Because of staffing, we have had (the middle school) on distance learning. They’ll come back (Friday),” Brown said.

A few high school students were exposed to a positive case through the Technical Institute which resulted in a positive case at the high school; those students will be released from quarantine Nov. 2, Brown said.

Ritchie County’s learning model for the year is classroom-based with students doing classroom learning each day except for Wednesday, which is a virtual school day.

Brown said they’ll be able to continue that model and that most of the residents prefer in-person learning.

“Seventy-six percent are attending in person and we’re committed to that. I’ll commend our staff. We’ve worked really hard, I think we’re in a pretty good place,” Brown said. “We’ve reacted quickly. We follow the guidelines pretty consistently and I think it’s helped to minimize exposure in our schools.”

Per the Tuesday update from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Ritchie County has 36 total positive cases and the county is in the yellow on the county map.

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