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UPDATE: MOVHD identifies 15 new COVID-19 in Wood County

Coronavirus cases linked to an area gathering and interstate travel have been identified in the county
(KTVF)
Published: Jun. 26, 2020 at 3:19 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2020 at 3:26 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - UPDATE: 6/28/2020

A news release from the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department says 15 new cases of coronavirus and another probable case have been identified in Wood County. This comes after several weeks of one or two cases being identified per day. The new cases bring the total in Wood County to 75, plus the five probable cases.

The MOVHD defines a probable case as someone presenting symptoms of COVID-19 after being exposed to a confirmed case and/or a person who has had a positive anti-body test. These probable cases treated as positive cases by the health department. Probable cases are asked to isolate.

Health officials say most of the new cases are connected to a gathering in the area and two cases are linked to travel to Myrtle Beach. Health department personnel are working with positive cases to identify anyone else who may have been exposed.

The MOVHD recommends getting tested for the virus after interstate travel five days after returning to allow the virus to incubate. Health officials say getting tested right away may present a false negative.

“MOVHD would like to remind people that COVID-19 is not going away and encourages individuals to be aware of the risks when being part of a social gathering, church function or group setting. To keep the number of cases as low as possible, it is important to wear a mask, social distance and use good hand sanitizing. If a person is not feeling well, they should avoid being out among the public as much as is possible,” the news release said.

As for neighboring counties, Roane County has 11 cases. Pleasants County has four cases and one probable. Ritchie County has two positive cases, and Wirt County still has four cases. Calhoun County has two cases.

In their 5 p.m. update, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported fifty new cases state wide. 630 cases are considered active, while 2,109 people have recovered. There have been 93 COVID-19 deaths in the Mountain State. The DHHR supplied this listing of counties and their cases, using a case confirmed by lab test/Probable case format:

Barbour (15/0), Berkeley (432/18), Boone (20/0), Braxton (4/0), Brooke (8/1), Cabell (115/3), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (10/0), Fayette (67/0), Gilmer (12/0), Grant (15/1), Greenbrier (59/0), Hampshire (41/0), Hancock (19/3), Hardy (42/1), Harrison (60/1), Jackson (142/0), Jefferson (219/5), Kanawha (292/9), Lewis (17/0), Lincoln (7/0), Logan (23/0), Marion (54/2), Marshall (41/1), Mason (16/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (36/0), Mineral (53/2), Mingo (14/3), Monongalia (153/14), Monroe (10/1), Morgan (19/1), Nicholas (8/0), Ohio (87/0), Pendleton (12/1), Pleasants (4/1), Pocahontas (23/1), Preston (60/15), Putnam (51/1), Raleigh (50/1), Randolph (154/1), Ritchie (2/0), Roane (11/0), Summers (2/0), Taylor (15/1), Tucker (6/0), Tyler (4/0), Upshur (15/1), Wayne (110/1), Webster (1/0), Wetzel (10/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (75/8), Wyoming (7/0).

UPDATE: 6/26/20 6:30 P.M.

Friday evening the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department notified WTAP of a correction from their earlier news release, which said a civilian employee and three Parkersburg Police officers had tested positive for COVID-19. Now, health officials are saying two officers and one civilian employee have tested positive for COVID-19, for a total of 3 positive cases related to the department.

Health officials say positive workers can continue to work so long as the take the necessary precautions to prevent spread, including checking employee’s temperature before they begin working, wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and cleaning workspaces.

However, Mayor Tom Joyce says the individuals who tested positive are now off. He was not able to verify if any of them were showing symptoms.

City officials say they have followed every guideline given to them by the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention and by the state to prevent spread. Local health officials say the police department has done everything right.

“We just don’t want the public to panic, because this is not a reason to panic. They are doing a great job of keeping themselves safe as well as keeping the public safe,” said Carrie Brainard, Public Information Officer for the MOVHD.

Mayor Joyce, says the fact that they’ve avoided a case this long shows that their precautionary efforts are working.

“It’s disappointing but at the same time it shows that the procedures have largely been effective. You look at 40 thousand man hours that have been worked in the department alone,” said Joyce.

The mayor says at the time, the police won’t need any assistance from other area law enforcement while the two officers aren’t working. He says it’s a “nominal” impact. With that, he says the city will continue to provide essential services for as long as possible.

“Police protection has been deemed critical and essential. We’ll continue to provide police protection and all services, including fire and the services we provide to the best of our ability,” said Joyce.

ORIGINAL STORY: 6/26/20

According to a news release, three Parkersburg Police officers and a civilian have tested positive for coronavirus. Officials with the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department say the police department and health department moved forward according to guidance given by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As essential city employees, the officers were allowed to continue work in office as long as they wore a mask and were asymptomatic. However, once some officers began to show symptoms, they were isolated.

Officials say all known contacts have been notified of their potential exposure to the virus.

Copyright 2020 WTAP. All rights reserved.

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