For a selection of households across Monongalia County this year, Thanksgiving dinner will be COVID-covered 1,077 times more than it was this time last year.
The above total is how many vaccines went into the arms of students, staffers and others associated with the county school district last week, in the days before the holiday break.
That includes the 568 students between the ages of 5-11 who rolled up their sleeves for their first doses against the contagion, the district said – along with 509 booster shots administered to staffers.
“Thanks to all parents who entrusted us with this important task,” Mon’s Deputy Schools Superintendent Donna Talerico said of the former.
Talerico said the district had done lots of pre-planning to get the vaccines administered before Thanksgiving break.
Youngsters will again line up for their second dose Dec. 13 as the district readies to go into the Christmas holidays.
Both Thanksgiving and Christmas, she said, are known for their shoulder-to-shoulder gatherings in the dining room and living room.
The idea, Talerico said, is to inoculate a little normalcy into the proceedings – even if “normalcy” remains a quite subjective term in the current COVID climate.
More vaccinations, with the same diligence of pandemic protocols, she said, means more opportunities for mask-free proms, field trips and graduations the way they used to be before March 13, 2020 – before Gov. Jim Justice ordered all schools shuttered in anticipation of the pandemic.
Outbreak cases are still being reported in schools across West Virginia, the state Department of Education said.
A total of 117 cases at Point Pleasant High in Mason County were reported, all “related to extracurricular activities,” the department noted on its website.
Monongalia County, meanwhile, is showing orange on the Alert Map maintained by the state Department of Health and Human Resources.
A total of 18 counties are showing red on the map with just two – Tucker and Pleasants – showing green.
There are 6,996 active COVID cases in the state, the DHHR said. To date, 4,757 residents have died from the virus and its complications.
Mon’s students return to school Nov. 29.