Berkeley County’s Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak

Josalyn Junkin, Author

Here in Berkeley County we have been receiving health updated and information since the end of February. On February 28, 2020 there was a message sent out on the BSCNtouch platform stating that Berkeley county schools were working with local and state agencies and coordinating with public health and safety partners and preparing for additional actions to keep our schools and community safe.

They stated they were monitoring incoming reports regarding COVID-19 and in constant communication with public health officials as the situation evolved. This message also including information on how to try and avoid illness during the cold and virus season including every day preventative tips to stop the spread of germs. At the end they gave a link to look at facts to get the community prepared.  

On March 6th another message was sent out regarding COVID-19 and reassuring the public they are continuing to stay in touch with health officials. They also started to monitor student health and the absentee rates at all schools. They stated that staff continued to disinfect surfaces with EPA approved chemicals and continue to reinforce preventative steps to reduce spread of illness. They reassured their plans are focused specifically for the safe and wellbeing of students, staff, and the community 

Another message was sent out on March 10th regarding school field trips. They announced they are monitoring the trips daily to determine if they should be rescheduled and stated if anyone had any questions to contact the school for questions. The next message was sent out the next day, March 11th saying they were preparing teachers and other staff members to make lesson plans for remote learning if the situation comes to that. They gave a list of efforts they are continuing to keep environments safe for all personal. They also encouraged joining a Facebook live event with a local health professional happening on March 17th. The next day another message was sent out regarding programs and activities being postponed or cancelled. This included events such as the social studies fair, regional math field day, and a dual enrollment information night.  

On March 13th a message about school closures was sent out. Governor Jim Justice announced that all WV public schools will be closed starting Monday March 16th until an unknown time. They stated they are still learning details of the closure and assures their goal is to continue learning and support services students receive from Berkeley County Schools. It stated that they will do their best to minimize disruptions and help the community as much as they can with continuing updating the public.  

They are continuing to send out many messages via BCSNtouch updating the public on how to receive support from the schools even with the closings. Plans have been made for students to continue to receive meals from schools, continue instruction, getting medication left at the school, and to continue communication through Ntouch and their website.