Color-coded system to determine schools’ virus response


Staff Report



CHARLESTON — During his Friday press briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced a new color-coded system which is supposed to guide the reopening of schools based upon infection rates (or lack thereof) of COVID-19, in a community. The system address in-person learning and extra curricular activities.

“Our new School Re-entry Metrics & Protocols will determine how we approach school during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the governor stated via his Twitter account. “Each county will be assigned a color – green, yellow, orange, or red – based on their rate of cases.”

According to information provided by the West Virginia Department of Education, those metrics and protocols are explained below.

Color code definitions and guidelines for in-person instruction

Green (Minimal Community Transmission, seven or fewer cases per 100,000 people):

– Continue best health practices to prevent the spread of disease.

– Engage community to actively participate in continued mitigation.

Yellow (Increased Community Transmission, 8-15 cases per 100,000 people)

Local education leaders work with county health departments to determine increased mitigation measures such as:

-Required masks for grades 3 and above in congregant settings where social distancing is limited;

– Increased hand washing and hygiene protocols;

– Increased student cohorting by limiting exposure outside of core groups;

– Limiting activities where social distancing is not feasible;

– Increased community engagement to prevent escalation of disease.

Orange (Heightened Community Transmission, 16-24 cases per 100,000 people)

– Local county education leaders will work collaboratively with local health departments to implement aggressive mitigation measures both in schools and in communities;

– Required masks grades 3-5 in congregant settings and grades 6 and above at all times;

– Increased community engagement to prevent escalation of disease.

Red (Substantial Community Transmission, 25+ cases per 100,000 people)

– Suspend in-person instruction and all school-related activities until yellow level is maintained on a seven-day rolling basis;

– Activate remote learning;

– Staff continues essential student support services including meals, student engagement and special education services.

Color code definitions and guidelines for Athletic & Extracurricular Activities

Green – Athletic and extra-curricular activities permit spectators with limited tickets.

Yellow – Athletic and extra-curricular activities permit spectators with limited tickets.

Orange – Athletic and extracurricular activities to be limited to controlled practices/activities only.

Red – All school-related athletic and extracurricular activities are suspended until yellow level is maintained on a seven-day rolling basis.

View these school re-entry guidelines and metrics at https://wvde.us/school-reentry-metrics-protocols/

Beth Sergent contributed to this report.

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Staff Report