At least nine counties in West Virginia may be unable to begin the school year with in-person instruction next week because of the spread of the coronavirus.
The county alert map released Thursday morning by the state Department of Health and Human Resources continues to have Monroe County in the “red” category, but additional counties joined the “orange” category including Putnam, Wayne and Mason counties. Kanawha, Monongalia, Logan, Fayette and Mingo counties remain in the “orange” Thursday.
What the map looks like Saturday night will determine the school status for the counties next week. “Red” and “Orange” prevents in-person instruction and moves the counties to online and remote learning. The first day of school is Tuesday, September 8.
Logan and Mononaglia counties are getting closer to “red.” Both have a rolling seven-day average of more than 20 new COVID-19 cases.
There are 28 counties in “green” and 18 in “yellow.”
The Rt value, which measures the rate of spread of virus, puts West Virginia at the fourth highest in the nation at 1.22. That number was one of the lowest just a few weeks ago.