METRICS AND PROTOCOLS
During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice joined State education and health
leaders to unveil the new metric and color code system that will
determine how in-person instruction, athletics, and other extracurricular
activities are conducted at West Virginia’s pre-kindergarten through 12th
grade schools, to ensure the safety of students, teachers, service
personnel, and the community as a whole.
“There's no state that we know of that has a rating system that is
similar to what we're going to propose to do,” Gov. Justice said. “We've
been working on this, night and day, for a long long time, with all the
experts that we could gather: people from West Virginia, out-of-state,
and around the world, our medical experts, the education community, our
teachers and counties, and many more.”
The School Re-entry Metrics and Protocols – developed by Gov. Justice,
the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), and
the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) – provide a consistent
tool that will assess community transmission. The color-coded system is
driven by data and science to monitor the level of COVID-19 in each
The system will be based on each county’s number of new daily cases per
100,000 people on a seven-day rolling average. This figure will be
calculated and updated by the DHHR.
“The new daily cases are then population-adjusted per 100,000 so small
counties and big counties can be compared equally,” said Dr. Clay Marsh,
state Coronavirus Czar, who also went on to discuss the use of new daily
cases as the key data point in the metric. “The idea behind this is we
actually do this at a metric that can change on a daily basis, which then
reflects the status of the county. If we wait for the number of active
cases to be cleared, that would generally be a minimum of 14 days to see
any change and this model changes things much more rapidly and does it on
a population-adjusted basis.
“I believe this is a very safe and innovative approach to make sure that
we are trying to balance the need to get our students back in class while
also protecting them, as well as our teachers, service personnel, and the
whole community,” Dr. Marsh continued.
Based on that figure, each county will be assigned one of four colors –
green, yellow, orange, or red – which is meant to represent the severity
of the rate of community spread.
An online map, tracking each county’s performance in the metric and
associated color status, is published on the West Virginia
COVID-19 dashboard (under the "Overview"
tab, select "Click here to view incidence rate").