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School district will follow doctor’s orders

Monongalia Schools Superintendent Eddie Campbell Jr. said the district will go into September just like a good, compliant patient.

That is, it will follow doctor’s orders – the doctor in this instance being Dr. Lee B. Smith, Mon’s county health officer.

“We’ll continue to take his direction, as always,” Campbell said last week, as the district readied for the extended Labor Day weekend.

“And right now, we are in pretty good shape,” he said.

Other districts late last week weren’t so lucky.

More than 50 outbreaks were reported across West Virginia schools then, as chronicled on the state Department of Education’s website.

Four players on the football team of Keyser High School in Mineral County tested positive, making that instance an outbreak.

Barbour, Clay and Monroe counties also shifted to total remote learning for the week due to the contagion.

Every West Virginia district is doing its work under the shadow of COVID, right now.

Monongalia’s first day of class was two weeks ago and 24 students across several school went home after positive diagnoses during those first days.

Thirty of the state’s 55 public districts, including Mon, now have masking mandates, also.

Mon’s three public high schools, thus far, have been able to play their regularly scheduled games, even though the county, as with most of the state, is showing red on the County Alert Map.

“The idea is to keep our kids in school and to keep them safe,” the superintendent said.

“That’s why we’ll do what Dr. Smith tells us to.”

The one thing Gov. Jim Justice is not telling the state to do – at least last week – is to get vaccinated, though he continues to strongly encourage it without trying to invoke a mandate.

Meanwhile, Campbell said Mon Schools is planning another round of inoculations for students and staffers, though nothing as yet has been scheduled.

Ideally, he said, booster shots will be available by then.

He’s also looking forward to when the vaccine for students younger than 12 is approved.

“We’re going to be there for the community,” he said, “but really, the only thing we can do now is just wait and watch.”

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