West Virginia officials say they are closely watching the effects of COVID cases and related quarantines in West Virginia schools, while 55 county school systems have been given the option of how to deal with the ever increasing pandemic.

Health officials said Friday that West Virginia is seeing the second fastest COVID-19 case spike in the country.

Calhoun in the red for first timr, five neighboring counties also in red.

The state Department of Education Friday listed 20 outbreaks at school facilities across 13 West Virginia counties with 700 cases.

The Hur Herald could not confirm the adult-children ratio among the 700 cases.

Other outbreaks are in churches and nursing homes.

MetroNews is reporting that state figures show that over the past seven days one of the highest COVID caseloads is among ages five through 11. Children that age aren’t yet eligible for vaccination.

Calhoun Schools issued a mask mandate for all schools earlier this week.

“What we should do is leave it to the locals,” said Gov. Jim Justice. “I think the local people can make a better decision on this than we can in Charleston," avoiding mandates and closings.

Particularly hard-hit has been Kanawha County, which was the first to return to classrooms in early August.

Capital High School went to remote status for the final three days of this week because of an outbreak. Capital is currently listed with 46 COVID cases on the Kanawha County Schools website.

George Washington High School listed 18 cases, and South Charleston High listed 15. John Adams Middle listed 28, Horace Mann Middle listed 15, and West Side Middle listed 15.

Those identified cases would not be the only effects, though, because other students who are identified as having been in close contact may be sent home to quarantine, including Calhoun quarantining at least 50 students, until they are able to get a COVID test.

Barbour Co Schools Transportation Dept. Barbour 8/25/21
Phillip Barbour High School* Barbour 8/25/21
Oakhill Middle School Fayette 8/26/21
Liberty High School* Harrison 8/26/21
Elk Center Elementary* Kanawha 8/25/21
Capital High School* Kanawha 8/25/21
Holtz Elementary Kanawha 8/25/21
Bible Center school Kanawha 8/24/21
Lewis County High School Lewis 8/26/21
Chapmanville High School* Logan 8/24/21
Ashton Elementary Mason 8/24/21
Pt Pleasant High School* Mason 8/24/21
Keyser High* Mineral 8/23/21
Mingo Central High* Mingo 8/24/21
Franklin Elementary School Pendleton 8/25/21
Pendleton County School Staff Pendleton 8/25/21
Creed Collins Elementary Ritchie 8/25/21
Buckhannon Upshur High School Upshur 8/26/21
Parkersburg High School* Wood 8/26/21
Neale Elementary School Wood 8/26/21