Testing of inmates, nursing homes continues

Published: May. 28, 2020 at 6:04 PM EDT
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As of Governor Jim Justice's noontime briefing Thursday, there were more than 100 positive COVID-19 tests among inmates at the Huttonsville Correctional Center.

And testing is about to begin for the rest of the inmates and staff at other West Virginia prisons.

But Jeff Sandy, given a new title as head of the newly-formed West Virginia Department of Homeland Security, says inmates were not overlooked when the outbreak stepped up back in March.

They have been placed under observation for two weeks after they were processed into institutions. before they were placed in the general population.

"We follow the CDC guidelines for correctional institutions," Sandy said Thursday, "and another question asked yesterday was the tracing. That is being done in Huttonsville by the local health department, and we are in communication with them."

In Ohio, testing has begun at nursing homes throughout the state, and Governor Mike DeWine says visitation will be allowed beginning in June for some mental health and assisted living centers, once they meet health guidelines.

DeWine also said county fairs-as long as they comply with local health regulations-will be allowed to operate this summer.

"The guidelines focus on social distancing, limiting crowds, and ensuring the health of everyone involved in the junior fair activities, as well as a vitally important component, animal care and welfare," DeWine said. "The decisions about county and independent fairs need to be made locally, because each county independent fair is unique and is different."

Secretary Sandy also noted that personal protective equipment developed by the West Virginia National Guard has now been provided to the St. Marys Correctional Center.

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