CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The first day of school is Tuesday but many playgrounds will be empty.
Six West Virginia county school districts in our region will start school virtually Tuesday.
That’s following Saturday’s release of the state’s first color-coded, COVID-19 reopening map.
Under the first color-coded school map released by the West Virginia Department of Education, a total of 9 counties fall in the remote learning and no sports competition categories, or red and orange.
These include Fayette, Kanawha, Monongalia, Logan, Mercer, Mingo, Putnam, Wayne, and Monroe.
“It just is tough when you have so many people contributing to the spread of this virus,” said West Virginia State Schools Superintendent Clayton Burch.
Superintendent Burch says even counties with a university in their backyards like Monongalia’s West Virginia University will need to be remote.
Burch is hoping the map motivates people to get into the green or yellow categories.
“So, the number one thing is we’ve got to use this map to help mitigate and drive folks to make better decisions,” he said.
Burch says entire counties need to be “all hands on deck” and practice better safety measures like wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands.
As state health officials watch for daily positive test results, Burch says there will be daily communication among district superintendents and principals with the West Virginia Department of Education.
While the current map will stand until the following Saturday, it would be immediately changed if the county turns red.
The school coded map is updated every Saturday at 9 p.m.
46 out of 55 of West Virginia’s counties fall in the yellow and green status and will begin the school year with the option of in-person teaching Tuesday.