Please pass the COVID.
That’s precisely what Donna Talerico hopes won’t happen during Thanksgiving break for Monongalia County’s public school students.
“This will be a good time to get your COVID booster if you haven’t already,” said Talerico, the district’s deputy superintendent.
“Same for your flu shot,” she added.
Schools let out two hours early Friday for the week-long break.
The coronavirus, for now, isn’t necessarily taking a break across Monongalia and the Mountain State, health-watchers say. It’s just not as intense.
A total of 46 counties Friday — including Mon, Preston, Marion and Harrison — were showing green on the Department of Health and Human Services alert map. The remaining nine presented with yellow.
Active cases include 27 in Mon, 40 in Marion and 11 in Preston, the DHHR said.
From Thursday through noon Friday, 12 COVID-related deaths were reported, including a 100-year-old Cabell County woman and a 50-year-old man from Kanawha County.
“For us, COVID right now isn’t anything like it was,” Talerico said.
To date, one staffer in the school district is recovering, along with six students across the system.
The deputy superintendent isn’t sure what will happen when students come back after break, though, she said.
“Families will be getting together,” she said, “so we will be watching.”
To date, area hospitals and clinics are still dealing with cases of influenza and RSV, the respiratory syncytial virus better known by its three-letter abbreviation.
Keeping those two at bay, she reiterated, means keeping current with COVID boosters and flu shots.
And while COVID cases are in the single-digits in Mon’s schools, ailing students go home early on a daily basis, Talerico said.
“There’s always a stomach bug out there,” she said, “and kids with fevers.”
Even so, she said, she’s hopeful the pandemic wave of the past three years is finally on its way back to the shoreline.
“It’s like we’re back to normal,” she said. “Or what’s ‘normal’ for us now.”