Testing

Robin McDaniel, director of nursing at Montgomery General Hospital, conducts a Covid-19 test on an individual at Monday’s testing event staged by the Fayette County Covid-19 Task Force in Gauley Bridge.

Fayette County residents harboring concerns about Covid-19 still have several opportunities to get tested.

The Fayette County Covid-19 Task Force conducted its most recent community drive-through testing on Monday, June 22 at the CVS parking lot in Gauley Bridge. A total of 65 individuals were tested Monday.

The task force staged a similar session on June 15 at Meadow Bridge High School which attracted 37 participants. In addition, weekly testing continues at the J.W. and Hazel Ruby West Virginia Welcome Center at Mount Hope. Also, testing will be held at the Ansted Fire Department on Monday, June 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Those with insurance are asked to bring their insurance card, but lack of insurance is not a barrier. No appointment is necessary, and no doctor's order is required.

Testing is still happening weekly, stressed Teri Harlan, administrator of the Fayette County Health Department.

"We have plenty of testing kits," said Harlan. "We're just trying to go in different communities and test throughout the county, and just trying to stay on top of it as much as possible."

Through the 10 a.m. report by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources on Thursday, June 25, cases per county (case confirmed by lab test/probable case) were: Barbour (15/0), Berkeley (423/18), Boone (19/0), Braxton (3/0), Brooke (9/1), Cabell (98/3), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (10/0), Fayette (64/0), Gilmer (11/0), Grant (15/1), Greenbrier (56/0), Hampshire (40/0), Hancock (18/2), Hardy (41/1), Harrison (55/1), Jackson (142/0), Jefferson (212/5), Kanawha (267/8), Lewis (15/0), Lincoln (5/0), Logan (21/0), Marion (52/2), Marshall (38/1), Mason (16/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (29/0), Mineral (52/2), Mingo (12/3), Monongalia (146/14), Monroe (8/1), Morgan (19/1), Nicholas (8/0), Ohio (78/0), Pendleton (12/1), Pleasants (4/1), Pocahontas (23/1), Preston (56/11), Putnam (46/1), Raleigh (36/1), Randolph (154/0), Ritchie (2/0), Roane (11/0), Summers (1/0), Taylor (13/1), Tucker (6/0), Tyler (3/0), Upshur (14/1), Wayne (109/1), Webster (1/0), Wetzel (9/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (58/4), Wyoming (7/0).

Visit the dashboard at www.coronavirus.wv.gov for more information.

Fayette's number of positive cases remained steady at 54 from June 5 to 17, but the county has had five new reported cases since then. At least some of those cases revolved around travel outside the state's boundaries, according to Harlan.

"Definitely we have travel-related cases, from people vacationing at the hot spots and then coming back here," she said. "It's people who live here but who are vacationing and then coming back."

Harlan said Monday afternoon she didn't think any of the recent Fayette cases is related specifically to travel to Myrtle Beach, which was reportedly the root of a recent outbreak of at least 26 cases in Preston County. "However, we have a bunch of ... local people who have vacationed over the past couple of weeks at Myrtle Beach, and we've had several people call and say they want to be tested," Harlan said. "We are definitely really encouraging folks to be very cautious. And when they come back, make sure they're wearing masks. Work from home if they can for 14 days, but definitely try to stay away from other employees."

Harlan said she is unaware of any Covid-19 cases that have arisen from individuals coming to West Virginia to recreate. She also said there have been no problems arising from local church services.

"Everybody is being pretty cautious and asking a lot of questions and making sure they're doing things the right way," she said.

Anyone with questions or concerns is urged to call their health care provider or the FCHD at 304-574-1617.

• • •

Testing of another type will be front and center on Saturday, June 27, which is National HIV Testing Day.

From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, the Fayette County Health Department, along with BridgeValley Community and Technical College, will conduct a free Fayette County community drive-through HIV testing event behind Pathfinder Hall on the BridgeValley campus in Montgomery. The tests are rapid tests, with results being available immediately.

Harlan said the HIV testing is a continuation of the department's normal procedures. "It's something the health department typically focuses on anyway, so we're just trying to get back at that. We wanted to do a community testing event for HIV. We're working with BridgeValley, partnering with them, so we're pretty excited about that."

"We have pretty serious concerns about HIV because of the drug use we have here, so it's always a concern for us," continued Harlan. "And we know that we have people all over the county who struggle with substance use disorders, so we're constantly trying to encourage people to come here and use our harm reduction services, and constantly encouraging people to be tested."

Email: skeenan@register-herald.com or follow on Twitter @gb_scribe

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