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Schools are open. Games are on. But experts say W.Va.’s latest COVID map is still flawed.

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By Lucas Manfield and Amelia Ferrell Knisely, Mountain State Spotlight

October 9, 2020
Facing criticism from all sides – as befuddled parents, teachers and public health experts struggled to make sense of the governor’s “tweaks” to the Harvard-inspired school reopening plan – West Virginia abandoned its original metric in mid-September. 

Now, the state is using what it calls the “West Virginia Model.” And rather than basing school reopenings solely on the number of per capita COVID-19 cases, counties can reopen by increasing the number of negative test results. According to state officials, the change is designed to promote more testing.

“Flood us,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a press briefing Wednesday.

People did. The number of tests went up, and the virus “reproductivity rate,” a measure of the rate of virus spread, dropped. The state once had the highest rate in the nation, and now has one of the lowest.

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