Gov. Jim Justice said Friday he’s reallocating $50 million for the purchase of additional cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, as the state readies to return to school this coming week.
The money, he told reporters that afternoon, comes from the CARES Act outlay which was funded for that purpose.
Justice used the cost ledger to respond to charges by state educator unions and others that his administration hasn’t been doing enough to safely outfit teachers, students and the schools they’ll be occupying this year.
Dale Lee, the state president of the West Virginia Education Association said just that, the day before, during an appearance in Morgantown.
“That should enable us to put aside any concerns and move forward,” the governor said.
Concerns, though, ruled the day with its news that Monongalia County went red on the state COVID-19 map – and that the superintendent of Mingo County Schools tested positive for the virus, along with the principal of Mingo Central High.
Mon’s bacterial tumble came four days before Tuesday’s start of classes.
It forced the abrupt cancellation of Friday night football games.
And it likely guaranteed that Mon students will have to do remote learning come Tuesday – at least for the first week of school, thereafter – as per pandemic guidelines set by the state.
Mon’s House of Delegates members also sent a letter to Charleston that same morning, which implored the governor to not to separate WVU’s coronavirus case numbers from the rest of the county – no matter what color they generate on the map.
Numbers from every county are on the agenda this morning of health leaders who are convening in Charleston, said Dr. Clay Marsh, the WVU physician leading the state’s medical response to the virus.
Cases in nursing homes, correctional facilities and how they relate to state testing numbers will be among the discussion topics, he said.
Justice, meanwhile, didn’t punt on the topic of remote learning and sports.
If you’re a football player and the county in which your school is located huddles up for that option, your team will stay off the field for the season, he said.
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