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West Virginia HS Football

Gov. Justice Announces Path Back to Playing Prep Sports in W.Va. Counties Sidelined by COVID-19 Metric

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West Virginia governor Jim Justice laid out a possible path for schools in “orange” counties according to the state’s COVID-19 metric to go ahead with scheduled games this week.

Under West Virginia’s guidelines, schools counties deemed orange or red on the weekly map released by the state’s department of education can not play any games. This week’s map, released Saturday night, listed Kanawha, Logan and Fayette counties in orange. Originally, that meant the addition of nine games off the Week 1 high school football schedule but now there is a glimmer of hope for those teams hoping to get back on the field this week.

Justice announced that teams in orange counties — for all sports including cheerleading and marching bands —  will be given one-time tests this week. If there are no positive tests within an individual team, that team will be allowed to play. The governor did not say when testing will begin in those counties or how fast results can be expected.

“Is it perfect? Of course it’s not, but we’ve got a week,” Justice said during a Monday press conference. “We’ve scrambled all the resources we can possibly scramble. We’ll go test everyone. If the football team tests and they’re all good to go, we’ll play the football game. If the volleyball teams tests and they’re all good to go, we play volleyball games. If the soccer team [passes] tests, we play soccer. If the band tests positive, with one of the people in the band testing positive the band can’t play. It’s just that simple. This is the very, very best that we can possibly do.”

Stay tuned to WV Sports Now as this story develops.

UPDATE – 3:50 p.m.

WOAY’s Matt Digby is reporting on Twitter that Fayette County schools will not participate in testing this week and will abide by the original guidelines for orange counties.

UPDATE – 4:10 p.m.

Kanawha County has also opted out of testing this week.

UPDATE – 5:30 p.m.

Logan County is out on testing this week too according to MetroNews reporter Brad McElhinny

 

(Photo via @NHSFootballWV on Facebook)

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Tom Bragg covers WVU, Marshall, high schools and other sports for West Virginia Sports Now. Tom spent more than a decade as a sports journalist based in West Virginia covering high school, college, youth and professional sports for newspapers in Huntington, Fairmont and Charleston before joining WVSN in 2020. Tom is a graduate of Marshall University's W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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