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Putnam County parents: ‘we don’t know how many students are quarantined’

Published: Sep. 13, 2021 at 11:47 PM EDT
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PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Since school has started, WSAZ has received several calls into the newsroom about high numbers of students having to quarantine due to positive COVID cases in the classroom.

“My daughter was quarantined last week. She is in a class of 20 and another mom who talked to me said there were six that went, so I’m assuming that fourteen were quarantined last week,” Putnam County Parent Sarah Flick said. “But we have no idea how many are in school, how many are missing school, we don’t know.”

“Several people that I’ve spoken with know there are a lot of people,” said Brianne Solomon, another parent. “We all know people and then people reach out to me and say ‘well, my son is too and so is so and so,’ but if you told me to tell you an exact number, nobody is giving us that information, I know it’s a lot.”

On Monday, WSAZ reached out to Putnam County Schools to find out the number of students quarantined per school. However, Putnam County Schools said “for reporting purposes, the county does not maintain quarantine cases, as numbers may change multiple times throughout the day.”

The schools’ spokeswoman said cases of COVID-19 are immediately reported to the health department, which WSAZ was referred to, to find out quarantine numbers. However, the Putnam County Health Department (PCHD) told WSAZ they only recommend who should be quarantined based upon distance on seating charts that the school provides. From there, the PCHD said, the school is the one to make the final decision on who is quarantined based off of vaccine status.

During the 2020-2021 school year, WSAZ was able to receive not only case numbers in Putnam County but how many students were in quarantine as a result:

Official letter from Putnam County Schools sent in October, 2020 to WSAZ.
Official letter from Putnam County Schools sent in October, 2020 to WSAZ.(WSAZ)

However, now you can only find active case numbers on the Putnam County site.

“I think everything should be transparent,” Hurricane Middle School Parent Jessica King told WSAZ when asked if it’s important to know who is quarantined. “I feel it’s important because we need to know they’re being consistent.”

“I personally don’t feel I need to know how many are quarantined, as we have 1,300 students in HHS. So I’m sure we have a lot,” Hurricane High School Parent Becca Nester said. “I do like seeing updates on the Putnam County Schools website on positive cases.”

The Putnam County Schools spokeswoman said she has requested insight on quarantine numbers and is hoping to have an answer by Tuesday.

Gov. Jim Justice addressed in his press briefing Monday that Putnam County is one of three counties that does not have a mask mandate and as of right now, does not have a special meeting scheduled this week.

Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

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