West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced changes to the coronavirus map that determines the status of school systems.
On Tuesday, Justice and other officials introduced the gold color category. Gold represents 10-14.9 cases of infection per 100,000 population.
Counties categorized as gold may have classroom instruction with heightened precautions. The designation also means sports teams can compete against in-county opponents or teams from other gold counties.
Moreover, the Governor announced the addition of a second way to measure the coronavirus spread in counties. The percent positive rate at the county level is the number of positive cases divided by the overall testing number.
Gold is defined as a positive infection rate of 5 percent or less on a 7-day rolling average.
The cases per 100,000 resulted in some people concluding the only way to improve the county status on the statewide map was to cut down on the overall number of tests.
Dr. Marsh said less testing is the opposite of what health officials want right now in the state.
“By testing more,” Marsh said, “we’re able to identify people that are asymptomatic. That’s exactly what we want to do to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”
Gold counties now include Boone, Logan and Mingo.
Counties that choose remote learning, contrary to guidance of the West Virginia Department of Education and state DHHR, will suspend all extra-curricular and athletic activities.