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Lewis County announces COVID-19 case in the school system, governor says alert map will be tweaked

Lewis County Schools announced late Friday morning that a probable COVID-19 case had been identified in the school system.

“On Friday, September 11, 2020, Lewis County Schools received confirmation of a probable COVID-19 case within the Lewis County school system,” according to a post on social media. “As we became aware of the situation, contact was made with our local health department immediately. Through an abundance of caution and following guidelines in accordance with the West Virginia Department of Education and the Lewis County Health Department, contact tracing is underway.”

The affected school was not identified.

“As information becomes available, or as new details arise, all potentially involved parties will be contacted by the Lewis County Health Department,” the post says. “We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this difficult time.”

Lewis County had just three active COVID-19 cases as of Friday morning’s report from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

During his virtual press conference Friday afternoon, Gov. Jim Justice indicated more changes will be coming to the color-coded county alert map as the state struggles to contain the virus. West Virginia is currently reporting the highest rate of spread in the nation.

One likely change is that orange will now mean going fully virtual.

“As far as counties going orange, it is just flat not safe, with our numbers trending the way they are, to go to school,” Justice said.

Any changes would apply to the weekly map released each Saturday at 5 p.m., the governor said. That means a county that goes orange would not have to immediately shut down, unlike when they turn red.

“We’ve got to do something, and we’ve got to do something right now,” Justice said.

As the new guidelines are finalized, we’ll bring you the details.

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