Nicholas yellow; 4 counties statewide in orange

In southern West Virginina, all signs were green on Saturday – with the exception of Nicholas County where yellow was assigned on the state’s color-coded map that tracks transmission of Covid-19 and dictates what schools can and cannot do.

The State Department of Education published its map Saturday afternoon, showing four counties statewide in orange, high enough on the color prism that the Upshur, Harrison, Doddridge and Mingo school districts will be forced into remote learning mode for the coming week.

Not so in The Register-Herald primary market, where only Nicholas County was colored yellow while all others were awash in the least restrictive green.

Still, the map metrics published by the Department of Health and Human Resources earlier in the day promise to raise some concern if not controversy.

In Barbour County, the infection rate – a seven-day rolling average of cases per 100,000 population – was deep into red territory (the most restrictive where all in-school instruction, including athletics, is halted) with a reading of 33.89. Red begins at 25.0.

However, its positivity rate, 4.71 percent, was low enough to earn a gold hall pass.

Schools are graded on the two metrics and then can choose the lower reading of the two to keep schools open and athletes on the field.

There will be no such discussions in The Register-Herald market even though school districts have voluntarily closed classroom doors with reports of single cases of the highly infectious disease.

Shady Spring High School and Shady Spring Elementary School were both closed this week due to Covid cases, Raleigh County Schools Superintendent David Price said Thursday. The high school will reopen Monday. Shady Elementary will operate remotely until Oct. 19, when students may return.

Wyoming County East students switched to remote learning this past Tuesday after a report of a confirmed Covid case. Following a positive Covid-19 case in the Wyoming County Career and Technical Center’s LPN class, the center was closed Tuesday and Wednesday, for deep cleaning, according to a statement issued by Wyoming County Schools.

Staff and students returned to class on Thursday.

The DHHR confirmed the deaths of five more West Virginians on Saturday, including a 78-year-old man from Mercer County and a 96-year-old woman from Fayette County. The three other deaths, pushing the state total to 381, were all in Kanawha County – a 92-year-old woman, a 79-year-old man and a 71-year-old man.

Eight of nine counties in the region reported additional confirmed cases of Covid-19 on Saturday with Greenbrier County backing up one, falling from 142 cumulative cases to 141.

Fayette and Raleigh counties led all others with nine and eight cases respectively, while Mercer County added six. Nicholas County added four more cases and McDowell added three while Monroe, Summers and Wyoming counties each added one case to its total.

Cases per county: Barbour (133), Berkeley (1,202), Boone (267), Braxton (18), Brooke (134), Cabell (989), Calhoun (30), Clay (48), Doddridge (49), Fayette (687), Gilmer (51), Grant (172), Greenbrier (141), Hampshire (116), Hancock (170), Hardy (98), Harrison (510), Jackson (313), Jefferson (472), Kanawha (3,080), Lewis (48), Lincoln (198), Logan (675), Marion (319), Marshall (201), Mason (155), McDowell (99), Mercer (456), Mineral (182), Mingo (437), Monongalia (2,142), Monroe (167), Morgan (72), Nicholas (140), Ohio (409), Pendleton (56), Pleasants (20), Pocahontas (61), Preston (170), Putnam (694), Raleigh (604), Randolph (312), Ritchie (18), Roane (65), Summers (63), Taylor (151), Tucker (46), Tyler (20), Upshur (175), Wayne (437), Webster (9), Wetzel (68), Wirt (20), Wood (408), Wyoming (136).

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