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Gov. Justice says color-coded system will determine whether W.Va. schools will stay open

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and the state's response Wednesday, August 5.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic and the state's response Wednesday, August 5.(Gov. Jim Justice youtube)
Published: Aug. 5, 2020 at 2:29 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - While acknowledging that the situation surrounding COVID-19 is still fluid, W.Va. Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that schools are still on track to reopen on September 8 along with virtual options for parents still concerned with physically sending their children back into the classroom.

“Today I am extremely proud to announce that we have safe methods to reopen our schools that we built in from a stand point of local control and scientific metrics.”

Gov. Justice says his administration and health officials are in the process of developing a color-coded system that will measure COVID-19 numbers county by county.

Gov. Justice says this system will determine whether or not school districts will remain open. For example, the governor said Wednesday if a county is ‘in the red’ schools will close in that county and all students will transition to remote learning. Gov. Justice also said Wednesday that if a school district closes that also means sports activities will be halted.

Gov. Justice says more details about the new system will be released in the next 10 to 14 days.

All counties have been charged with coming up with a reopening plan and submit it by August 14.

Click here for WSAZ’s Back to School and Beyond page. There you can find re-entry plans that have been released so far.

Districts are also required to continue to provide meals for all students as well as support services whether students return for in-person instruction or choose to learn virtually.

Important information was also announced Wednesday for students and parents who want to choose a virtual learning model for the 2020-2021 school year, but don’t have access to Wi-Fi. Gov. Justice says the goal of a new $6 million initiative is to give all students in West Virginia access to broadband.

Gov. Justice says the Kids Connect Program will provide more than 1,000 Wi-Fi access points in the state.

Sites will be placed at all K-12 schools, 225 libraries, 32 higher education sites and 31 locations at West Virginia State Parks.

According to Gov. Justice, the sites are expected to be up and running by September 8. Transportation to these sites will also be provided, Gov. Justice says.

Copyright 2020 WSAZ. All rights reserved.

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