COVID-19 Response

JCS Safe Reentry

**The Jefferson County Health Department announced that the quarantine period for COVID-19 exposure would be changed to 10 days. The change takes effect on Thursday, March 18, 2021. 

During an emergency meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, The Jefferson County Board of Education (JCBOE) voted to approve a plan for safe re-entry to physical school facilities for on-site students.  The plan was developed in collaboration with stakeholders from across the school system and in keeping with the requirement from the WVDE that on-site learning was to resume the week of Jan. 19, 2021.

Board Concerns

Board members were presented with new recommendations from Jefferson County Schools (JCS) administrators addressing concerns raised during a previous meeting when the JCBOE voted to extend remote learning through Mar. 1, 2021. Their concerns and the accepted solutions are below:

1. The infection and positivity rate in Jefferson County as a measure of risk.

The infection and positive rate in the Jefferson County community have declined daily and consistently over the past week. The county is now out of the “red” designation.   Under the previous rules of engagement in the Fall, these are conditions under which school was held and held safely.

2. The Jefferson County Health Department conveyed their reduced capacity to provide contact tracing support due to vaccination drives and larger caseload sizes

Jefferson County Schools has allocated funding and signed an agreement with JCHD for an additional health care professional at JCHD to serve exclusively for JCS contact tracing requirements ensuring timely action for safety.

3. The percentage of Jefferson County Schools staff who have received the COVID vaccine.

As of Jan. 20, 2021, Jefferson County in partnership with Shepherdstown Pharmacy has vaccinated 593 staff with a total of 165 remaining. This constitutes ALL JCS staff who have requested the vaccine. At this time, only 10 employees over the age of 50 who requested the vaccine remain unvaccinated. The first vaccine for the last group of unvaccinated employees is scheduled to take place on Thur., Jan. 28, 2021. As of Feb. 4, 2021, the second round of vaccines will begin. Vaccine distribution in West Virginia was prioritized for educational staff. Our medical partner has conveyed that the first round of Moderna vaccine is 60% effective moving to 95% after the second round.

Safe measures

The following safety measures will also be implemented to enhance existing safety measures:

  • Revised Safety Plan protocols in JCS Safety Plan Handbook
  • Share weekly updates of school-by-school positive cases and quarantine numbers separated by student and staff. The data allows for increased transparency as any individual may calculate see the information for themselves.
  • Closure of any class or school that exceeds the threshold established by CDC.
  • Establish a hotline for reporting safety protocol violations anywhere on JCS campuses to ensure compliance for staff and student safety.
  • High School closure status will still follow the weekly color-coded map from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services (WVDHHR) in accordance with an order from Governor Jim Justice and a motion adopted by the WV Board of Education. You can read that motion HERE.

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