Gov. Justice says West Virginia schools are prepared to reopen

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK/WFXR) – The issue of student safety came up again at the governor’s semi-weekly briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Jim Justice was criticized by teachers unions and his political opponent Thursday, Aug. 6, saying the governor’s plans to re-open schools are not adequate.

On Friday, Aug. 7, he and his staff answered the all too critical question: “What happens if a school gets word during the day that a student has tested positive?”

“If it’s in the middle of the day we would have the teacher or the principal take the child out of the classroom, right away to the parent. We do not want the parent to come into the classroom. But first and foremost we want all the children to be safe, have their masks on,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, WV Public Health Officer.

Meanwhile, the governor bristled at his political opponents.

“To say this is anything but a long term effort, no questions is a real insult. And it’s not necessarily an insult to me. It’s an insult to all those people at the Department of Ed that do great work all the time,” said Justice.

There has also been speculation and rumors that school guidelines would be lifted and children’s desks would be only three-feet apart, instead of the federal guideline of six-feet.

“Not true,” say health officials.

“So we use six feet and six feet is a safe distance; 3.2 feet, at least in the published literature, is the distance that folks in Asia use,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia COVID-19 Czar.

Again, as of now, West Virginia schools will reopen in-class and online on Sept. 8.

“As for the $1.25 billion sent to West Virginia by Congress, to deal with COVID-19, today the School Superintendent says at least $200 million of that will be spent on educational needs,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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