Diocese declines offer to open schools in orange counties

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CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — The Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston won’t accept Gov. Jim Justice’s offer to allow private and religious schools to reopen in orange counties if students and staff get tested for the new coronavirus.

Diocese spokesman Tom Bishop gave several reasons for the decision, including an opposition to forcing students and staff to take coronavirus tests.

Justice provided the exemption to private and religious schools Wednesday, only if they agree to pre-test students and staff. Justice also said testing would be free but Bishop questioned whether that sentiment was accurate. Public schools weren’t offered the exemption nor were they offered free testing.

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