MORGANTOWN — A total of 34 students tested positive across Monongalia County’s school district last week, officials reported.
That went with the six positive diagnoses for the contagion presented by staffers during the return to class after Thanksgiving break.
The steady trickle of COVID cases in Mon’s school buildings continues after heath-watchers nationwide wonder if there will be a full-on surge, giving the arrival of the omicron variant of the virus on these shores.
As of this past weekend, cases of people suffering from the newest form of the coronavirus were found in 15 states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
West Virginia’s neighboring state of Pennsylvania reported an omicron case in Philadelphia, health officials there said.
Most the country’s dominant cases, to date, are from the more-familiar delta variant, however, according to the CDC.
Mon’s school district, meanwhile, is readying Wednesday for another round of in-school clinics, administering the second of the shot to students in the 5-11 age range.
It will also include those middle-schoolers who were either too young or too old when the kid-sized dosages began rolling out last spring.
A total of 568 students received their first doses before Thanksgiving break, lining up with more than 500 employees who rolled up their sleeves for boosters, said Donna Talerico, the district’s deputy superintendent of schools.
While Talerico is quick to stress the unpredictability of the pandemic, she said the district’s accessibility of vaccines, plus its mask mandate and other mitigation strategies, are working to quell cases here.
“We don’t have a crystal ball,” she said last week, “but there are plenty of other things we can employ.”
Much like Mon, though, the contagion is still employing a persistent run across West Virginia, according to numbers culled from the state department of health and human resources.
To date, 4,990 deaths have been marked in the Mountain State from COVID and its complications, the DHHR said.
There are 8,031 active cases in the state, the department said.
Monday, Mon County was showing orange on the DHHR’s country alert map, with 23 counties in the red, the worst designation.
No counties that day were presenting in green, the map’s best designation, the department noted.