Clayton Burch

Daniel Walker/ WVPB

While the president has asserted that children are “almost immune” from COVID-19, public health experts say many things are unknown about how the virus impacts youth, particularly long-term.

“The short answer is that we do not know,” said Dr. Mariana Lanata, a pediatric infectious disease specialist who works at Marshall Health. “This virus is completely new, and we are still getting to know it and know what it does.”

On this West Virginia Morning, the traditional start of the school year is coming like a freight train, and educational leaders are trying to prepare for the unknown. We hear from West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch and other officials. Also, in this show, we hear a story about efforts to save an endangered plant in Appalachia.

Courtesy Berkeley County Schools

Schools across West Virginia closed Monday, March 16, for at least two weeks in an effort to help stem the transmission of the coronavirus. 

Since the shutdown was announced, West Virginians around the state have been working to make sure students are fed. According to the West Virginia Department of Education, more than two-thirds  of school-aged children, or more than 183,000, qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. 

W. Clayton Burch, Interim Secretary, West Virginia Department of Commerce.
WV Governor's Office

The West Virginia State Board of Education has selected someone to take over as state superintendent of schools.