Color Confusion: New Gold Color and Schools

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – After falling under gold last night, Fayette County jumped to orange this morning, leading to new questions about school and how this new color changes things.

On Tuesday, educators were filled with excitement as the new gold color on the map gave many the opportunity to reopen.

“Our A-L students will return on Thursday,” said Superintendent Gary Hough. “Our M-Z students will return on Friday while A-L stays home on Friday.”

Just a day later, the DHHR’s map shows Fayette County as orange again.

Plans are still in motion to have kids in class on Thursday. Schools follow the maps released on Saturdays, which yesterday’s color update applied to.

“So what we did when we added the gold, we said if you drop into the gold, we would [refer] back to Saturday night,” said Governor Justice. “Then, you’re eligible to go back to school or even resume sports.”

The DHHR updates the map every day, but Governor Justice insists there be a cutoff for schools to plan for the week ahead.

“We have to have that cut off where we say ‘okay, they’re gold for the entire next week,” said Justice. “If they trend in the next week up in the orange on a daily basis, we have to go with the color from the cutoff on that Saturday night.”

In Fayette County’s case, kids will be back in school on Thursday and Friday. If numbers don’t improve by this weekend, they could be back to virtual learning Monday morning.

The DHHR map updates every day and only affects schools if a county drops to red. You can find the map schools abide by on the WVDE website.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.