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Positive COVID cases rise in local schools

ELKINS — Active COVID-19 cases in Randolph County schools have risen during the past week, officials said.

On Friday, the state Department of Education released figures saying Randolph County Schools have eight current positive COVID-19 cases, including five in Tygarts Valley Middle/High School, and one case each in Elkins High School, Beverly Elementary School and Coalton Elementary.

That total has doubled from one week ago. On March 18, there were four active cases in Randolph County Schools, including three in Tygarts Valley Middle/High School, and one in Beverly Elementary, according to the state Department of Education.

The cases in the schools have been due to community spread, Bonnie Woodrum, the Randolph Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist, told The Inter-Mountain this week.

“We have some community spread in the schools,” Woodrum said. “So we have several students currently being quarantined. But it came from the outside and the community — it was not spread within the school. It was brought in from outside, it’s not being spread from student-to-student.”

COVID-19-related issues have often resulted in staffing shortages this school year.

Randolph County Schools released the following information Thursday evening:

“Due to staffing shortages, tomorrow Friday, March 26th will be a remote learning day for all Randolph County School students. This is an instructional day and students are expected to work on assignments in Google Classroom or other learning activities provided by their teacher. Staff will report to their schools on their regular schedules, and teachers will be available via email or phone call to help students.”

Barbour County Schools has seen multiple bus route cancellations during the past month due to staff shortages.

Also, BCS released the following information on March 22:

“Due to a staffing shortage for the June summer school opportunity, we will not be able to open the Kasson site. Bussing will be provided for students who are interested in attending at the Belington sites.”

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