CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The state’s back to school plans were a main talking point during West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s COVID-19 briefing Wednesday.
West Virginia State School Superintendent Clayton Burch joined the governor to announce that the state’s “school recovery and guidance” plan will be released Wednesday.
While virtual school options are still available, schools across the state will be starting in-person, Burch said.
The state will make sure schools have cleaning supplies, Burch continued, while also explaining that mask policies will be left up to school officials in each individual county.
The West Virginia Department of Education will continue to offer vaccine clinics in schools and will be ramping up the #IGotVaxxedWV campaign, which is aimed at getting students vaccinated. As a part of that effort, Justice and Burch announced a competition for public and private schools that will award $50,000 grants to 12 schools with the highest percentage of vaccinations among students. The winning schools will be announced in October.
WVSSAC officials also joined Wednesday’s briefing and encouraged all players and coaches who are eligibile to get vaccinated, explaining that vaccinated athletes won’t have to quarantine when exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID. Those quarantine situations were the main reason for sports interruptions last season WVSSAC officials said.
“What in the world are we waiting on? (Going back to school) It is one heck of a risk,” Gov. Justice said in relation to kids going back to school without being vaccinated.