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South Charleston High School had as of Monday the largest number of active COVID-19 cases reported among Kanawha County public schools.

The county school system’s COVID-19 tracker website showed 38 active cases at the school among students and staff combined. Enrollment there last fall was about 960 students.

Kanawha’s tracker reports cases whether they are suspected to be from in-school spread or not.

The state Department of Education’s tracker was, as of Sunday, attributing eight of these cases to a school-related “confirmed outbreak.”

Kanawha schools spokeswoman Briana Warner wrote in an email that four of the 38 total reported active cases were teachers. She said 11 out of the high school’s 54 teachers were absent Monday.

Warner wrote those additional absences “were for a variety of reasons, many unrelated to COVID-19.”

“SCHS did combine some classes today in the auditorium due to staff absences so that classes could continue in a socially distanced manner,” Warner wrote.

The state education department’s COVID-19 guidance says “schools may consider closing for a 10-day period to slow transmission if recommended by the local health department to the county superintendent based on meeting one of the thresholds.”

One of those thresholds is when the “school is unable to maintain a safe school environment due to the number of staff out.”

— Staff reports

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