Governor Revises Color Codes for Athletic and Extracurricular Activities

In an effort to more fairly identify those counties having increased community transmission of COVID-19, Governor Jim Justice has revised the color-coding system used to determine levels of activity in the school system as well as athletic and after-school activities.

Justice has added a Gold category, which indicates “elevated community transmission.” Counties in gold have 10.0–14.9 cases of COVID-19 infection per 100,000 people. Until now, counties with these numbers were categorized as orange. However, in an emergency meeting last week, Gov. Justice and state health experts determined that the orange category was too broad.

“Our original plan was put together with a considerable amount of thought,” said Gov. Justice. “But just because we had a good plan doesn’t mean we can’t make it better.

“We’ve got 67,000 kids that aren’t in school and we’ve got 15,000 of those kids that are special needs kids,” Gov. Justice said. “If we can get some of those kids back in school safely, should we not try to do just that? Should we not continue to try to change and adapt and make our system even better? Well I think so. And, in an emergency meeting we had with all the experts from several different fields, we have now come upon a system that is lightly tweaked, but is absolutely better.”

The color-coding as it stands now is as follows:

Green

Minimal Community Transmission – three or fewer cases per 100,000 or 3% or less positivity rate on a seven-day rolling average.

Limit activities where social distancing is not possible.

Face covering required for grades 3 and above on buses and where social distancing cannot be maintained.

Athletic and extra-curricular events permitted with immediate household family members and grandparents. Cheerleaders and bands may participate at home games.

Yellow

Increased Community Transmission – 3.1 – 9.9 cases per 100,000 or 4% positivity rate on a seven-day rolling average.

Limit assemblies and large-group activities where social distancing is not possible.

Face covering required for grades 3 – 5 on buses and where social distancing cannot be maintained. Face covering required for grades 6 and above at all times.

Athletic and extra-curricular events permitted with immediate household family members and grandparents. Cheerleaders and bands may participate at home games.

Gold

Elevated Community Transmission – 10 – 14.9 cases per 100,000 or 5 % positivity rate on a seven-day rolling average.

No assembly or large-group activities.

Face covering is required at all times for grades 3 – 12.

Athletic and extra-curricular events permitted with immediate household family members only. Cheerleaders and bands may participate at home games. Schools can only compete in-county or with other gold counties.

Orange

15 – 24.9 cases per 100,000 

Suspend in-person instruction.

Athletic and extra-curricular events limited to conditioning only.

Marching bands limited to outdoors only when students are stationery and distanced.

Red

25 or above cases per 100,000.

Suspend in-person instruction.

All school-related athletic and extra-curricular activities are suspended.