Kanawha County Schools fight against COVID-19


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – As of Monday, Kanawha County has over 1,000 active COVID-19 cases.
With the recent surge, school leaders say many parents are asking about virtual learning and the possibility of shutdowns.

“Please know as I stress to parents, things such as mask wearing, hygiene, all those layered prevention strategies that we use to keep schools safe, I would encourage parents to work with their kids at home,” said Alicia Warden, Leading Nurse for Kanawha County Schools.

“We are completely in person. We do have a few that have chosen the virtual program, but that’s a very limited number of students and that program is full right now, so a great majority of our students are here in person. We are in a normal situation,” said Cindy Schilling, Principal of Marmet Elementary School.

Schilling says students enrolled in the virtual learning program were prioritized based on medical needs, like being immunocompromised or more susceptible to COVID.

“There is no reason to shut down the whole school system because we’re seeing very isolated spikes and numbers, so as long as we can possibly get in person, that’s where the kids need to be,” said

Kanawha County Schools use contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine for students exposed and encourage parents to communicate with them if their child came in contact with a positive case.

“Reach out, work with your school nurses, administrators, and the teachers, and just know we all have the same goal and it’s to keep schools open,” said Warden.

While a student is in quarantine, teachers will teach them virtually for an hour after school. When an isolated COVID outbreak happens, classrooms are sanitized. Only one outbreak was large enough for Capital High School to close for a few days to sanitize.

“If that changes it would have to be either a state department decision or a county decision, but right now I don’t see that happening just because there’s no reason to at this point,” said Schilling.

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