Students at Paw Paw Schools are learning out of the classroom today, Monday, October 12 following a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student.
Morgan County School Superintendent Kristen Tuttle announced the shift to remote learning at Paw Paw on Sunday evening in a letter posted on the school system’s Facebook page. Press Release–positive case 10.11.20.
In it, she said the Berkeley-Morgan County Health Department has received confirmation of the positive test result and had been working closely with the schools to “identify any potential persons who may have had close contact” with the student.
“The health department will contact those that need to be quarantined,” Tuttle said in her letter. “If there is a chance that you may have been exposed and the health department can trace that activity to you, you will be notified. Please understand contact tracing and testing take time and there are levels of contact: low, medium and high.”
In-school learning was suspended for students so that contact tracing can be completed.
“Our students and staff have done a great job wearing masks and social distancing at school in order to help prevent exposure. We will continue to take appropriate action working with and under the guidance of health officials to protect the safety and well-being of our students and staff,” Tuttle told parents. “To keep our schools open to our children, it will take our entire community following established COVID-19 protocols including hand washing, facial covering use, social distancing, and proper hygiene.”
This is the third confirmed case in Morgan County Schools that has been announced. A first case was reported in a person associated with the Berkeley Springs High School volleyball team, and another with a Berkeley Springs High School student.
Sunday’s announcement came as Morgan County has been shifted to a “gold” status on the West Virginia DHHR COVID map, meaning case numbers had increased sharply. According to state officials, gold status means a county has 10.0–14.9 cases of COVID-19 infection per 100,000 people. On Monday, Morgan County was colored yellow on the County Alert map.
Other than Paw Paw Schools, all Morgan County schools are operating in person, since the decision about school operations for each week are based on a county’s COVID status color on Saturday of the preceding week.
As of Monday morning, the West Virginia DHHR was reporting 22 active cases of COVID in Morgan County residents. In total, health officials have confirmed 74 cumulative cases in Morgan County of the respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus. There have been no deaths attributed to COVID in the county.