RICHWOOD, W.Va. — Delegate Caleb Hanna, R-Nicholas, urged local residents to remain calm and follow public health officials’ guidance to avoid further spread of the coronavirus following confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in Upshur County last week.
“We’ve always known this virus would make its way to our area eventually, and I just urge everyone to stay calm and follow all of the recommendations from our health officials to keep this virus from spreading further across our community,” Delegate Hanna said.
The state Department of Health and Human Resources has so far identified one positive case of COVID-19 in Upshur County. Gov. Jim Justice earlier this week issued a statewide stay-at-home order requiring all West Virginians to stay home as much as possible, unless they need certain essential things.
“We’re all in this together, so we all need to do our part to protect our loved ones and neighbors from exposure to this deadly disease,” Delegate Hanna said. “That includes taking seriously all the precautions we’ve heard so many times already: stay home, work from home if possible, avoid others if you feel sick or have been around someone with symptoms, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands thoroughly and often.”
Delegate Hanna said West Virginia is especially susceptible to this disease because we have an older population with many underlying health issues. So that means everyone must be constantly vigilant to avoid spreading the disease.
In addition to limiting public interaction, here is a list of common-sense daily measures we all can take in an effort to curb the spread and fight COVID -19:
- Self-isolation – Anyone older than 60, children, or those with underlying health conditions should stay home. While this is difficult for us as West Virginians, it means not visiting vulnerable grandparents or having large family gatherings until this threat subsides.
- Testing – Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should be able to get a test. However, due to supply chain limitations, that is not possible right now. We are in working with federal officials to secure more testing for West Virginia. Until more tests are available, continue to request a physician’s order for a test.
- Telework – Every West Virginian who is able to telework should do so.
- Shiftwork – For essential services where employers are unable to telework, employers should institute shiftwork to ensure six feet of distance between employees at all times.
- Tourism – Anything that would attract groups of visitors should be avoided for at least the next two weeks.
- Medical Equipment – Equipment is in short supply across the country and here in West Virginia. We are working with federal officials and private industries to get hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, rehab facilities and first responders the equipment they need to do their jobs safely. This is also an opportunity for West Virginians, to assist in this effort by making masks for hospitals, health clinics and first responders.
- Food and Supplies – Supply chain issues will not be a problem. West Virginians should go to the grocery store to get what they need. Be respectful and do not hoard food or supplies.
- Hygiene – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your hands to your face. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like phones, keyboards, and doorknobs. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink lots of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
A complete list of precautions is available at www.cdc.gov/covid19. State-level information can be found at dhhr.wv.gov/covid-19.