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First student- to-student virus case

Thursday’s positive COVID diagnosis of a Mountaineer Middle student may have given the school a pandemic designation Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. was hoping to avoid.

“It looks like we’re probably going to have to label this as our first classroom-to-classroom transmission in the county,” he said.

“Probably,” he said, because, like everything else with the coronavirus – one can’t fully be sure.

The day before, another student at the school atop Price Street had tested positive, putting 20 students into quarantine, including the one who presented with the same diagnosis Thursday.

Now, an additional 45 Mountaineer Middle students are also isolating as a precaution, the superintendent said.

That’s a 14-day quarantine, under county health department guidelines.

Meanwhile, more than 70% of the county’s 12,000 or so students are back in school for five-day, in-person learning.

The return comes by way of a mandate by the state Board of Education – and the call of Mon County families who made their feelings known in surveys put out by the district earlier.

As Campbell’s feelings go, no COVID news is good news, he said.

“We’ve been saying since the beginning that thing is going to change day-to-day,” he said, concerning the particulars of the pandemic.

“We have to deal with what we’re handed on a daily basis,” Campbell continued.

In the case of Mon’s district, he said, dealing with it means responding to it – with a vigorous, in-house contact tracing system.

Ten of the 65 students tapped for quarantine at Mountaineer Middle, for example, had ridden the same bus as their classmates who were infected.

Dealing with it also means getting more shots in more arms, he said.

A vaccination clinic scheduled this morning at Morgantown High School for teachers and other employees has been pushed ahead to next Friday, Campbell said, so even more doses can be administered.

And not just for employees who will be there for that all-important second Moderna shot, he said.

Campbell said select family members are also rolling up their sleeves for their first inoculations as well, in the clinic that starts at 3:30 p.m. that day.

“We’re going to be close to 600 or 700 doses,” he said.

“We’re ecstatic that this been extended to the families of our employees.”