COVID-19 impacts education across the state, schools closed indefinitely


WEST VIRGINIA— In the wake of the Coronavirus, or COVID-19 pandemic rapidly sweeping the nation, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice addressed that state regarding the health and safety of students and educators across the state.
The Governor issued a state of preparedness on Wednesday, March 4, as the virus began surrounding the state.
“The fact of the matter is simply just this, we still don’t have a case of the Coronavirus in West Virginia, but that doesn’t mean it is not coming,” Gov. Justice noted. “However, we are prepared.”
He went on to say that at this point in time he believes that our state is going to have to follow the lead of others across the county, despite any inconveniences it might cause.
Justice believes that with how quickly the illness is spreading, that it will enter our state sooner than later, with a reported 12 west Virginians having been tested, 11 of which came back negative and one still pending.
“Regardless the situation is just concerning,” he voiced.
“Yesterday a tough decision was made to cancel the high school basketball tournament. Here is going to be another tough decision. ‘What do we do about the schools,” he questioned.
He referred to WV schools as a “safe place” for their students, a place for them to go and learn, and be fed two meals a day and just feel comfortable. He noted that school institutions throughout the state carry with them a great deal of responsibility when it comes to the care of their students, and that he plans to take very seriously.
“Again a tough decision, but the reality is just this, at the end of the day you want a governor that will make tough decisions. I am closing schools, that’s all there is to it,” Justice revealed.
He shared that he feels that it is just the right thing to do, after weighing options and holding multiple meetings regarding the subject, that the choice was evident, in order to protect not only the students but the administrators, as well.
“You ask yourself, ‘What do we do to take care of our teachers?’, ‘What do we do to maintain the health and safety of our kids?’ and ‘What will we do if this thing turns ugly real fast?’,” Justice said. “You ask yourself those three questions and you get the answer.”
“The probability is just too high, and schools are a breeding ground,” he continued.
As of this time, there is no word on when schools here in West Virginia will resume classes.
When asked how long he had planned to leave schools shutdown, the Governor stated, “As long as it takes.”
On the heels of Justice’s statement ,Taylor County Superintendent Christy Miller, released a declaration of her own.
 “Although the COVID-19 virus has yet to reach the Mountain State, it has caused enough concern with the Governor and West Virginia Department of Education, that the decision has been made to close Taylor County Schools at the end of today, Friday, March 13, 2020,” she conveyed.  
Miller advised the public to stay informed via local news media outlets as to when they anticipate returning to school.
In addition, all extra and co-curricular activities and spring sports are cancelled as of Monday, March, 16, 2020. No practices or games can be held.
“This is very fluid and additional information will be shared this evening,” she stated.
Please continue to stick with us here at the Mountain Statesman, by visiting www.mountainstatesman.com, and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MountainStatesman as we to continue covering the virus and any news surrounding it, in order to deliver information to you in a prompt manner.

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