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Education: Doddridge County officials moved quickly

Doddridge County Schools Superintendent Adam Cheeseman was not surprised to see his county classified as red by the Department of Health and Human Resources County Alert System. He knew the numbers had been climbing and it would not be long before the county had to switch back to all remote learning, no extracurricular activities and other restrictions.

His outlook was a good one. Rather than hide their heads in the sand earlier in the month when numbers started to creep up, school officials started to plan.

“So we noticed last week that we were in a pretty good surge here in terms of cases,” Cheeseman said. “We worked with our health department last Tuesday. I am glad looking back that we made that move because it’s really spiked.”

Doddridge County is dealing with challenges we ALL can see coming. Remember, there was a time when Doddridge County was the hold-out in terms of recording its first case of COVID-19. But it found out soon enough it is not an island; and the same will likely be true now.

All our local counties should be doing the same kind of planning that took place in Doddridge County. If it is not needed, wonderful. But do not let false optimism put a greater strain on staff and students than they will already experience, if a change is necessary.

Of course, we all wish this virus would just go away; that a vaccine will be found and distributed quickly; that we can return to whatever normal will look like on the other side of all this. But we have to be smart.

“We definitely want to return as quickly as we can, but we want to do it in a safe manner,” Cheeseman said.

Here’s hoping that is possible. Other counties, meanwhile, should be looking very carefully about what they will do when the data shows they, too, are in the red.

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