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Randolph sees seventh case of COVID-19

ELKINS — The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is now reporting seven positive cases of COVID-19 in Randolph County, officials said during a conference call for county leaders Monday.

The first five individuals in Randolph County who tested positive have recovered, said Cindy Hart, director of the Randolph County Office of Emergency Management. The sixth case reported by the state DHHR involves a person who was tested in another county and then brought to Randolph County for isolation and monitoring.

“The last positive that we received was over the weekend and, again, this patient was asymptomatic,” Hart said.

Bonnie Woodrum, infectious disease specialist with the Randolph-Elkins Health Department, said she has spoken with people who were in contact with the seventh case.

“I interviewed them and, supposedly, they had very little contact with other people but, you know, it’s so natural to stop and talk to somebody,” Woodrum said. “To the knowledge of this person, they were not in contact with a positive patient (and) they were not working in a place that they were not wearing a mask or anything like that.”

The state of West Virginia has been reporting rising numbers of positive cases.

“It looks like we’re going up in positives about 9% a week,” Hart said. “Unfortunately, the West Virginia death toll is … going up at an average of 8% a week. People are getting this (virus). They think it won’t happen to them but it absolutely is.”

Hart said 919 individuals who tested positive in West Virginia have recovered and only two first responders are currently quarantined, which is down 40% from last week.

As of 5 p.m. Monday, in our region, Barbour County had seven positive cases, Upshur had six and Tucker had four, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources. Hardy County had 31 cases, Pocahontas had eight, Grant had six and Pendleton had five cases.

Statewide, a total of 1,502 positive cases had been reported, with 68 deaths. A total of 77,760 people had been tested in the state, with a positive test result of 1.93%.

Also during Monday’s conference call, officials talked about PPE (personal protective equipment).

“There continues to be a PPE shortage but not as bad. You can get some supplies and Amazon is actually getting to be pretty quick,” Hart said. “If at all possible, try to get what you can. I’m not saying hoard it by (any) means but this will last and, again, the second wave they say is going to be in the fall. Just make sure that you’re prepared.”

A rubric is used at the state level to decide how to divide the PPE between different counties.

“Randolph County is only allotted a specific quantity and when we reach that quantity, we’re done. They try to spread it out as much as they possibly can,” Hart noted.

“With that in mind, please don’t order more than you need. Don’t try to hoard or stock up on supplies, just order what you’re going to need for the next two weeks. Again, please be looking for those other vendors to obtain items you need,” she said.

“Please be mindful that they’re stating that we could be social distancing and/or (using) PPE clear up to June 2021, just because it takes the laboratories and the scientists ample time to be able to find a vaccination to discourage this,” Hart added. “Don’t take it lightly. Stay safe, wash your hands frequently, avoid large crowds and keep in mind that businesses are starting to open.”

The next OEM conference call will take place at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 26, instead of Monday, in observance of Memorial Day.

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