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COVID quarantines bench 11 on UHS boys basketball team — plus other students across the district

MORGANTOWN — A teacher at Skyview Elementary School has tested positive for the coronavirus, just days after the district administered about 300 Moderna doses to district employees and their families.

The positive diagnosis also put 13 students and an additional three staffers into quarantine for the next two weeks, Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. said.

Meanwhile, three separate COVID incidents which impacted University High School Monday continue to show the width and breadth of the pandemic across Monongalia County and the Mountain State.

Following a boys varsity basketball game with Spring Mills High School in the Eastern Panhandle on Saturday, a player on the Spring Mills team tested positive – in turn benching 11 players on the UHS team, who will now isolate as a precaution.

University High was also hit with three other positive cases not related to that game, the superintendent said.

Two were a brother and sister who both tested positive, Campbell said, leading to the additional quarantines of 20 classmates and a teacher.

The COVID roll call continued with the positive diagnosis of the third UHS student, he said.

And that quarantine roundup took in 21 classmates – making for 52 students from the school on Bakers Ridge now doing their lessons on the outside looking in.

Quarantine numbers aren’t a cause for shuttering a school, the superintendent said.

As defined by the state Department of Education and state Department of Health and Human Resources, an outbreak is two or more cases, transmitted under the roof by students and employees, in whatever combination.

“If we’d put a building on remote learning because of quarantines, that would be doing a disservice to our 7,500 kids who are back in school,” the superintendent said.

“You’d want to shut down to quell an outbreak or super-spreader event.”

The district has drawn on the assistance of the county health department in recent days for help for contact tracing, which before had been exclusively in-house.

“Right now, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing,” the superintendent said, “and that’s business of keeping our kids safe and in front of their teachers in school.”

A big part of that business, as said, is also the delivery of the Moderna vaccine into the arms of teachers and other employees.

The district finished a clinic last Friday at Morgantown High that included employees and their families.

Two more clinics for employees are set for this month, and the district is seeking public opinion on the administering of shots to students 16 and older in coming days, once that rollout begins.

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