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School faces COVID challenge

Whole class sent home as teacher tested positive

A fifth-grade class at Eastwood Elementary School is quarantining at home today after a teacher tested positive for COVID-19, the district announced.

Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. said the class was sent home Wednesday as a precaution.

He didn’t know the exact number of students involved.

This most recent diagnosis and quarantining marks a pronounced week of coronavirus cases in Monongalia County Schools.

A case over the weekend at Cheat Lake Elementary sparked an initial Election Day concern at the school, which is a polling station for Precinct 78.

The school remained open for voting, though, after a thorough disinfecting by the district’s COVID cleaning crew.

Campbell and other officials from the county health department also did a thorough walk-through of the building before Election Day.

Meanwhile, two administrators at South Middle School are also in quarantine after a part-time staffer there tested positive Wednesday.

And contact tracing was launched last week at Morgantown High School, after it was learned that a student had tested positive while likely interacting with a number of teachers and students.

Surges of the coronavirus, in the meantime, are picking up across the region, and in neighboring Wetzel County, whose schools superintendent has also tested positive.

Campbell reiterated Wednesday that Mon Schools will continue its steady response to every COVID-19 case that presents itself in the district.

He announced last week the district is continuing its alternating, in-person, remote learning model through Jan. 20.

That’s in order to get through Thanksgiving and Christmas, he said, which are two holidays traditionally heavy on family and friends getting together.

Each such gathering, he said, now has the potential of morphing into a super-spreader event.

“As we talked, we’ve always known that we were going to have cases,” he said earlier.

Earlier uncertainty over COVID-19, he said, has given over to the inevitability of COVID-19.

“But we aren’t seeing cases spread from within our schools. It’s all been from the community, and we’ve been able to quickly respond.”

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