Regional update on COVID-19

By Beth Sergent -

OHIO VALLEY — In the Ohio Valley Publishing (OVP) readership area, Gallia County, Ohio has now surpassed Mason County, W.Va., with the most reported COVID-19 coronavirus cases.

The Gallia County Health Department confirmed Gallia’s fourth case of COVID-19 in a released statement on its Facebook page, Thursday evening.

According to the statement, “Gallia County Health Department is reporting our fourth positive case of COVID-19. At this time, we please ask residents to refrain from calling the Health Department for questions regarding this case while we complete our disease investigation and notify relevant individuals. We urge residents to practice good social distancing and not congregate in groups. We thank you for your continued cooperation.”

Gallia confirmed two COVID-19 cases on April 1.

Information found on the Ohio Department of Health’s website states that Gallia’s earliest onset case was recorded on March 12 in a woman between the ages of 30 and 39 years-old. The second onset case was noted in a man between 60 and 69 years of age on March 18. The next onset case was document March 19 in a woman between 60 and 69 years of age who then died March 23. Gallia’s most recent COVID-19 patient was noted with an onset date of March 31 in a man between the age s of 50 to 59.

According to the Gallia Health Department, all cases discovered in Gallia have been documented as caused by community spread.

As of Friday afternoon, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) was reporting three confirmed cases of COVID-19 for Mason County. In one case, the patient had a history of international travel and the two other cases appear to be community acquired, according to the Mason County Health Department. No confirmed cases have been reported in Meigs County, Ohio.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in nearby or surrounding counties in the OVP readership area, include: Athens County, Ohio (3); Lawrence County, Ohio (4); Putnam County, W.Va. (5); Cabell County, W.Va. (5); Wood County, W.Va. (5).

In Jackson County, W.Va., which borders Meigs and Mason counties, 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death have been reported by DHHR.

Also on Friday, four employees at the Constellium plant in Ravenswood, W.Va. have reportedly tested positive for coronavirus, according to a press release from the company’s CEO Buddy Stemple. The release went on to state, “In conjunction with the health department and CDC guidelines, we have taken the necessary precautions concerning quarantines. We are taking several precautions to protect our workforce including regular disinfecting of work areas. I am proud of all who work at Constellium Ravenswood for their courage and dedication thus far in this crisis. You can imagine that operating in this environment with 1,200 people and 68 acres under roof is a challenge. I want to thank each of them.”

The release also stated, in part, many of the products made at the plant are “critical in this time of crisis. Our customers supply medical devices, masks and ventilators…”

Also, on Friday, DHHR reported 6,367 residents in West Virginia have been tested for COVID-19, with 237 positive, 6,130 negative and two deaths. A new dashboard is available online at with West Virginia-specific data.

Confirmed cases per county in W.Va. are: Barbour (1), Berkeley (37), Cabell (5), Greenbrier (3), Hancock (5), Hardy (2), Harrison (17), Jackson (11), Jefferson (12), Kanawha (40), Logan (4), Marion (11), Marshall (4), Mason (3), Mercer (3), Mineral (2), Monongalia (35), Morgan (1), Ohio (11), Pendleton (1), Pleasants (1), Preston (4), Putnam (5), Raleigh (3), Randolph (2), Roane (2), Tucker (3), Upshur (1), Wetzel (2), Wirt (1), Wood (5).

In Ohio, on Friday, there were 3,312 confirmed cases in the state; 288 ICU admissions; 895 hospitalizations; 91 deaths, according to ODH.

During Friday’s Facebook Live event on Holzer Health System’s Facebook Page, Dr. Michael R. Canady, MD, FACS, updated viewers on testing and patient care.

Canady stated Holzer had tested 145 patients for COVID-19, with 4 positive tests. As of Friday afternoon, he said Holzer had no COVID-19 patients in their care that they were aware of, though he believed one patient was under investigation for the virus and was awaiting test results. He also went on to say one COVID-19 positive patient that had received care at the facility, who had been in ICU, had now been released and “was doing well.”

In regards to testing, Canady said Holzer does testing for in house patients and outpatient curbside testing. Canady explained physicians are looking for explanations as to why someone is ill in a time of year where allergies, influenza and other viral syndromes, in addition to COVID-19, are being seen. He stressed Holzer is following guidelines from ODH and the CDC when it comes to testing for COVID-19. This means, “everyone that needs a test, gets it,” he said, noting established criteria is met before the COVID-19 test is given.

Canady suggested patients and providers call first if they feel they need tested to expedite that testing process when a patient arrives.

Pleasant Valley Hospital (PVH) has also been providing screenings and testing. Last month it announced the creation of a drive-up viral testing station for people exhibiting symptoms of respiratory viruses including COVID-19. PVH has also prepared a dedicated triage building located outside the ER to help contain and treat potential COVID-19 patients. The site opened on Saturday, April 4.

Locally, call PVH’s viral testing hotline at 304-675-2406 or call Holzer for information at 1-855-446-5937. Holzer has also established a website dealing with its response to COVID-19 at

Dean Wright contributed to this report.

By Beth Sergent

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.

Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.