COVID cases jump here, disrupt school schedules

Residents urged to get tested, set up first vaccine shot now

by Kate Shunney & Kate Evans

Morgan County’s COVID cases have jumped significantly during the last week, rising from 48 active cases last Monday to 76 active cases on Sunday, March 28. The additional cases over the last seven days have been concentrated in the 10-19 year old category (13 new cases) and in the 50-59 year old category (10 new cases), according to the West Virginia COVID-19 alert map.

The total cumulative cases of the respiratory disease in Morgan County topped 1,000 last week. Since the first case was reported on March 29 of last year, 16 deaths have been linked to COVID here.

Schools juggle cases

Berkeley Springs High School students returned to in-person learning on Tuesday, March 30 after several days of remote learning sparked by additional COVID cases in the student body.

Remote learning was instituted on Wednesday, March 24 after school officials were notified of two additional high school COVID-19 cases late Tuesday.  All extra-curricular activities at the high school were cancelled during that period.

Warm Springs Middle School students were also affected by cases in that school last week. All seventh graders were in remote learning on Friday, March 26 due to a positive COVID-19 case there. School officials noted that they had to take steps to prevent any further spread of the virus and allow time for contact tracing to be completed. Additional students were told by the school nurse to quarantine, officials told families.

Officials said in a Facebook posting that they had to take these steps to prevent further spread of the virus.

The high school planned to allow varsity sports teams to resume practices on Tuesday.

“The entire school community needs to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.  Masks will be required at all school events and those unwilling to comply will be asked to leave. Only parents, grandparents and household members will be permitted entrance to events. We must all do our part to help keep schools open and sports going,” said the Morgan County Schools social media post.

Testing, vaccines available

Free testing for COVID-19 continues in Morgan County in several locations.

On Thursday, April 1, individuals can be tested at the First United Methodist Church activity center (The Blue) at 440 Fearnow Road in Berkeley Springs between 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Preregistration at is recommended but not required.

Testing is also available at Reed’s Pharmacy in Berkeley Springs and Mountaineer Community Health in Paw Paw.

Morgan County residents who are 18 years or older who need to be scheduled to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine should call 304-500-2081 and leave a message with their name and a call-back number.

Residents who had already used the state vaccine registry system should still call this local number to set up a first dose appointment.