MASON COUNTY — On Monday, the Mason County Health Department (MCHD) reported two new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On Monday morning, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) website reported four cases for Mason County. Later on Monday, Jennifer Thomas, nursing director/administrator of the MCHD, updated the Point Pleasant Register to say the county now has five confirmed cases. Thomas said both new cases were believed to be community acquired.
As previously reported, upon receiving a positive report, the MCHD:
– Contacts the patient, gathers information on patient’s contacts and advises patient to quarantine to home and gives guidelines on the length of time to quarantine, depending on each case.
– The MCHD will notify each contact and advise them what length of time they need to be quarantined or not.
– The MCHD will closely monitor all persons involved with the positive case.
“To protect the privacy and dignity of all Mason County residents in accordance with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the MCHD at this time will not be releasing any specific or personal information on the positive cases, such as name, age, gender, address, and place of employment,” a statement from the health department read last week.
Monday morning DHHR confirmed 21 new cases of COVID-19 have been officially reported to the state, making the total positive case count 345. Early Monday morning, there were 9,940 residents who have been tested for COVID-19, with 345 positive, 9,595 negative and four deaths.
In addition to Mason, DHHR reported confirmed cases in the following counties Monday morning: Barbour (2), Berkeley (54), Cabell (7), Greenbrier (3), Hancock (6), Hardy (2), Harrison (25), Jackson (16), Jefferson (22), Kanawha (56), Lewis (1), Logan (6), Marion (17), Marshall (5), Mercer (4), Mineral (2), Monongalia (53), Morgan (3), Ohio (15), Pendleton (1), Pleasants (1), Preston (4), Putnam (8), Raleigh (4), Randolph (3), Roane (2), Taylor (1), Tucker (3), Upshur (1), Wetzel (2), Wirt (1), Wood (11).
Go. Jim Justice held a press briefing on Monday afternoon with health leaders and officials from his administration at the Capitol Complex in Charleston.
A press release from the governor’s office about the briefing stated, “The governor said the state continues to do the right things to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus and assured residents that we ‘will remain as aggressive as possible to save as many lives as we possibly can.’”
The release continued: “We are on top of this and overreaction never hurt anyone, it may be inconvenient, but if it gives us the ability to save just one life it’s worth it,” Justice added as he spoke after explaining two executive orders he issued over the weekend to give county health departments in six counties (Berkeley, Jefferson, Morgan, Kanawha, Monongalia, and Harrison) the authority to further tighten measures to keep the spread of COVID-19 to a minimum in locales where the majority of positive tests in the state have been recorded.
The press release also stated the governor confirmed the state’s fourth death attributed to COVID-19, an 85-year-old male from Harrison County with underlying conditions. “Please join Cathy and me as we think about those who have passed and remember them, and their family and friends, in our prayers…we miss them.
“Just keep the faith,” Justice added. “I know I’ve been saying it but I’ll say it again, we’re doing the right things so just stay the course because we still have a long way to go.”
Also according to the press release from the governor’s office, Justice indicated that a positive test result had been confirmed at Eastbrook Center Nursing Home in Charleston and that state, county, and city personnel were dispatched to test all staff and residents on Monday and that Charleston Area Medical Center would be handling the tests.
A Workforce West Virginia employee has also tested positive, according to Justice and that employee has been isolated at home and other measures have been put in place to monitor other Workforce employees.
The press release also included the following information:
Update from COVID-19 Czar
COVID-19 Czar Dr. Clay Marsh indicated that new modeling being done by the University of Washington shows that the surge in West Virginia, once projected at around May 4 is now April 15 and that the number of projected deaths has changed from 500 to between 150-170.
Beth Sergent contributed to this report. Additional information provided by DHHR and the office of Gov. Jim Justice.