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COVID Update: New Martinsville School goes to remote learning

44 W.Va. counties red on latest COVID map

CHARLESTON– New Martinsville School is moving to remote learning for the next week-and-a-half “due to circumstances caused by COVID,” the Wetzel County School District announced on its Facebook page Wednesday.

“It was becoming very difficult to operate,” Superintendent Tammy Wells said.

Remote learning will last through at least Sept. 19.

“It is our hope that after Sept. 19 we are back in school,” Wells said.

In addition to students testing positive and quarantining — “The numbers are still coming in,” Wells said when asked for figures — the district has been having trouble getting substitute teachers and bus drivers for those who have tested positive for COVID, are quarantining because of exposure or are out for other reasons. Administrators and other teachers have been covering classes at New Martinsville, the largest of the district’s nine schools, with students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade, Wells said.

Wetzel was one of 44 counties labeled red on West Virginia’s County Alert System map Wednesday. When the county is red — representing the highest level of spread of the virus — students and personnel are required to wear masks.

Eight counties were orange, the second-highest level, with just two gold and one yellow, the second-lowest level. The map was devoid of any patches of green, indicating the lowest level of spread.

In the Mid-Ohio Valley, every county was red except for Pleasants (gold), Roane and Gilmer (both orange).

Statewide, there were 22,215 active cases as of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Wednesday morning update, with 1,352 new cases reported since Tuesday. Eighteen deaths were reported, ranging in age from a 46-year-old Lewis County man to a 102-year-old Kanawha County man.

“These are holes in our hearts and communities,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “Please schedule your COVID-19 vaccine today to prevent further loss of life.”

Active cases in local counties as of Wednesday (previous day) were: Calhoun, 193 (198); Doddridge, 115 (98); Gilmer, 61 (57); Jackson, 239 (228); Pleasants, 109 (112); Ritchie, 132 (128); Roane, 151 (146); Tyler, 219 (204); Wetzel, 324 (310); Wirt, 84 (83); and Wood, 1,076 (1,068).

COVID-19 testing is available at many Fruth and Walgreens pharmacies and other locations. More information can be found online at dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/pages/testing.aspx.

Vaccination sites can be located by visiting vaccinate.wv.gov or calling 1-833-734-0965.

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