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Officials urge residents to be ‘extra careful’

ELKINS — Although COVID-19 cases in Randolph County do not seem to be on the rise, local officials are still warning residents to take every precaution necessary to help control the disease, which is growing more prominent in other areas of West Virginia now.

“People should be taking extra precautions. If we want our kids to go back to school we should be extra, extra careful,” Bonnie Woodrum, the infectious disease specialist for the Randolph Elkins Health Department, said during a COVID-19 conference call for county leaders on Monday.

“People returning from vacations out of state, especially if they’re essential workers, need to take precautions for 14 days. We have had cases that converted after the 10th day to a positive test,” she said.

“It’s not guaranteed that you’re free and clear if you test negative at four or five days, especially if you’ve been to an endemic area, or if you’ve had an exposure to a known case. People need to continue to wash their hands frequently, avoid all crowds, and if unsure get tested.”

There are currently five active cases in Randolph County, with one person hospitalized and showing improvement, Woodrum said. To date, there have been no deaths in the county due to COVID-19.

The pandemic has still left some people without work, however, and there are those feeling the crunch after falling behind financially. However, help is available from two organizations, the Randolph County Housing Authority and Catholic Charities of West Virginia, who are there to lend a hand.

“If someone is being evicted on non-payment of utilities, we may be able to help them with some of that,” Karen Jacobson, executive director of the RCHS, said during Monday’s call. “So if they want to contact us we may be able to help, but it would only be for eviction prevention.”

The DHHR announced 119 new cases statewide on Monda,y with the total growing close to 7,000 in the Mountain State, at 6,973.

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