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Monongalia County goes orange on DHHR coronavirus map

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Monongalia County is out of the red category on the state’s county alert system map, nearly three weeks after entering the highest level.

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, the county has a rolling average of 23.3 daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 below, below the 25-case threshold of the red category.

Monongalia County Schools Deputy Superintendent Donna Talerico said the decline has given her some optimism that students will be allowed to have face-to-face lessons soon.

“We’re going to commit to one more final week of remote learning,” she said on WAJR-AM’s “Ask the Educators.”

“If need be and if the colors indicate, we will pivot to our blended model program.”

Under the blended option policy, half of the county’s students would be allowed in school buildings at a time, and students would alternate between in-person and virtual lessons.

“Seventy percent of our families had indicated on their survey they would like that blended model or having the children in school,” Talerico said. “Nothing replaces the face-to-face instruction with really good educators.”

Talerico said the move would give teachers some normalcy.

“They have a couple of computers in front of them, and they have a microphone,” she said of teachers’ current settings. “They have all the attributes that I see in this radio station.”

Monongalia County Schools has outfitted 17 buses with Wi-Fi to allow students opportunities to complete coursework. Children have laptops for completing lessons.

The state Department of Education will adjust its school alert map on Saturday at 5 p.m. Counties in the green, yellow and gold categories are allowed to have face-to-face lessons.

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