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CHARLESTON — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday, March 24, that the color-coded map system for high schools will no longer be used and that high schools will be open full-time unless there is some type of significant coronavirus outbreak.

“Now it’s time for it (the map) to go and retire and move on,” Justice said.

The governor said not using the map to determine whether high schools could be open is the right decision, particularly since such a high percentage of teachers and school personnel have now been vaccinated.

The governor also said during the news conference that live music can return in the state, and all fairs, festivals and similar events can resume May 1 provided proper guidelines are followed.

“These events are part of the fabric of our state. We want them to go on,” Justice said. “I expect all these events to continue following all safety guidelines in order to keep West Virginians safe if they choose to attend these events. ... Unless there’s a real backslide with our numbers, we plan to have all of our fairs and festivals as we try to get back to some level of normalcy.”

As of press time on Monday, March 29, Mingo County has reported a total of 2,298 positive cases of COVID-19 in its residents, with 2,094 cases listed as recovered and 168 as active, according to the WV DHHR COVID-19 dashboard.

From Monday, March 22, to Sunday, March 28, 54 new cases hit the books in Mingo County, with 26 of the 54 coming on March 23 and March 26.

The Mingo County Health Department is continuing to host free vaccination events weekly at various locations across the county and is asking residents to sign up to receive the vaccine at www.vaccinate.wv.gov.

As of Monday morning, Mingo County has administered 7,272 doses of the vaccination. That number does not include county residents who may have gone out of state to receive the vaccine.

Keep up to date with free vaccination opportunities in the county by checking the MCHD Facebook page.

The MCHD is also urging the community to stay diligent and to continue following all guidelines, including practice social distancing and wearing a face covering despite the increase in people being vaccinated.

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