CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The West Virginia United Caucus was established after the 2018 strike, in which they fought against low pay and high health care costs. Two years later they still voicing their concerns, this time asking for more transparency as students begin to spend more time in the classroom amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, they launched wvcovidtracking.org, a website in which people can anonymously submit school-related covid cases around the state.
The caucus complied those submitted cases and shared the results during a press conference on Tuesday.
“We’ve seen nearly 150 cases since September 8th,” explained caucus member Jay O’Neal, a teacher in Kanawha County. “These were cases in over 40 counties across the state. They say numbers are going down, but we are worried. We don’t think these numbers are going in the right direction.”
We have a simple ask to stop manipulating the map,” explained WV United Caucus member Terri Engnoth.
She added, “This push to go green and not in a safe way is giving people a false sense of security.”
During Monday’s COVID-19 briefing Governor Jim Justice and other state health officials adamantly denied any manipulation of the map.
“There is no chance on God’s earth, not one sliver of chance, that I am gonna put up with us manipulating the numbers for any kind of outcome or activity,” said Governor Jim Justice.
The Governor is scheduled to have another COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday afternoon.
This press conference comes as the state’s largest teachers union, the West Virginia Education Association (WVEA) says it will file an injunction challenging the state’s color-coded school re-opening maps within the next few days.