Education, Healthcare, Latest News

More COVID at MHS on the day Mon’s high-schoolers return for in-person classes

Another sports team at Morgantown High School has been sidelined to COVID-19, the district announced Monday.

That was after two players on the boys lacrosse team tested positive the virus in two separate contacts outside of school the Friday before, Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. said.

“We found out late that afternoon,” he said. “And the two had interacted with others at practice.”

Which now means everyone – an additional 36 teammates plus a number of coaches – rides the bench for a two-week quarantine period, as per pandemic protocol.

This isn’t the first time the coronavirus has impacted athletes at the school on Wilson Avenue.

Last month, the entire MHS girls basketball team, coaches included, sat for 14 days after a player also presented with a positive diagnosis.

Monday’s news came on the same day students in grades 9-12 returned to their classes for full, five-day-a-week, in-person learning – following an earlier mandate by the state Board of Education.

Morgantown High was also hit with two other cases not associated with any sports program, the superintendent said.

A positive case Sunday put another student into isolation for safety, he said.

Another MHS student tested positive Monday, Campbell said – but no other quarantining was necessary.

Quarantining, though, was necessary at North Elementary.

The positive case Monday of a student at the school on Chestnut Ridge Road resulted in 17 other classmates going into quarantine, along with a teacher and two aides.

If the district is displaying a track record for COVID, Campbell said, there’s another running parallel also worth noting.

Every positive diagnosis in the district, he said, has come from community spread and not from any outbreaks in any school building.

“Not one, not yet,” he said. “We have to keep coming back to that.”

Students in grades 9-12 are back for full, five-day-a-week, in-person learning, in accordance with a mandate set earlier by the state Board of Education.

Elementary and middle-schoolers returned last week in more pronounced numbers that their big brothers and sisters.

While the families of as many of 80% of the younger students were enthusiastic about reoccupying their actual classroom seats, the return for high school could turn out to be considerably lower, Campbell said.

Look for a roll call of around 65%-70% there the superintendent said.

Morgantown High, which normally boasts an enrollment of 1850, saw 725 students in its building Monday.

On Bakers Ridge, a total of 754 returned to University High, which usually houses 1,250 to 1,300 when a pandemic isn’t on.

Blackville was bustling somewhat, as 116 in the upper grades reported to Clay-Battelle Middle/High, on the western end of the county.

The Technical Education Center called roll for 172 Monday, with eight reporting in person to the county’s Excel center, he said.

“That pretty much lines up with what we had gotten from our surveys,” Campbell said.