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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 has spent the last decade as a sports journalist based in West Virginia, most recently as the WVU beat writer for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and with previous stops at the Charleston Daily Mail, the (Fairmont) Times West Virginian and the Daily Independent in Ashland, Kentucky. He was born and raised in Cross Lanes, West Virginia -- where he currently resides -- and is a 2010 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Marshall University.

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