Upshur confirms first case of COVID-19


BUCKHANNON — St. Joseph's Hospital received its first positive case of COVID-19 in Upshur County on Thursday. Hospital officials reported the person is asymptomatic and self-quarantined at home.

St. Joseph’s Hospital also said they have activated a nurse triage line for the public, implemented a triage tent outside the hospital’s emergency room to screen patients appropriately, and have restricted visitors to the hospital in effort to further protect patients, staff and the community. Telehealth is also being offered through the physician offices, which gives patients the opportunity to connect with their doctors via telephone and/or video.

A press release issued Friday stated, “The hospital has increased its bed capacity for inpatients, expanded the number of ventilators available, is ensuring that staff have access to needed personal protective equipment, and has plans in place for a secured area should any patients be admitted with COVID-19.”

In the same press release, President of St. Joseph’s Hospital Skip Gjolberg said they had also activated a “Hospital Incident Command System (HICS), which is a system designed for hospitals in the United States to provide them with the tools needed for emergency preparedness and response.”

For more information, visit stj.net or call St. Joseph’s Hospital nurse triage line at (304) 473-2161. The triage is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Outside of those hours, call St. Joseph’s Hospital at (304) 473-2000 or the State hotline at (800) 887-4304.

St. Joseph’s Hospital will continue to accept any and all new and unused N95 respiratory face masks, isolation gowns and nitrile exam gloves. They reportedly have an adequate supply of medical grade masks.

The Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department recommends that anyone who can work from home should do so. Everyone should stay at home, except for going out for necessities. Whenever you do go out, stay 6 feet or more apart from each other. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, self-quarantine yourself until you receive your test results.

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