CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – It seems like summer vacation is just getting started but for many students in our area the beginning of a new school year is right around the corner. There are still several uncertainties when it comes to what the upcoming school year will be like when it comes to COVID-19.
Kanawha County Schools leaders say they are following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s lead.
“The CDC says that those who are fully vaccinated can resume their pre-pandemic lives,” said Alicia Warden, Lead Nurse with Kanawha County Schools. “So we are encouraging parents to seek out those opportunities as well as the school community.”
When it comes to Kanawha County Schools, like with many places, if you’ve been fully vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask. If you haven’t been fully vaccinated you do have to wear a mask.
“Our year-round school Piedmont started this week,” Warden explained. “So the guidance is in that age group especially, elementary and under 12, masks are required. We hope to have more information for parents as we get closer to the regular school year.”
Dr. Sherri Young with the Kanawha Charleston Health Department said even though they’ve made the vaccine available, reaching children in the younger age groups has been a challenge.
“The toughest demographic to reach right now is that 12 and older age group and then their parents,” Young said. “We want to make sure that we have the opportunity to get back to normal.”
Young said with the Delta variant making its way into Kanawha County, getting vaccinated is even more important.
“Our best defense against the COVID variants and COVID in general and having a good school year without lots of quarantine and without having to cancel ballgames and without having to go virtual is to get those COVID vaccines in arms,” Young said.
Warden said right now no decision has been made as to whether or not students will have to show proof of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We just shift and do everything we can to keep everyone safe,” she said.
Leading up to the new school year the Kanawha Charleston Health Department is hosting “Walk-in Wednesdays” when parents can bring students by without an appointment. On those days students can get the COVID vaccination as well as all of the other back-to-school immunizations they may need.