Threat Preparedness News and Alerts
This is a public health notification that the Jefferson County (WV) Health Department has issued a Rabies Alert for the South Childs Road area of Kearneysville.
The WV Office of Laboratory Services notified our office (JCHD) on July 14th, 2020 of a “POSITIVE” test result for the rabies virus from a – RACCOON – submitted by us, from the above area.
If you believe that you or someone else had contact with this animal, please call the Jefferson County Health Department at (304) 728-8416 ext. 3037
All Citizens are also being reminded to make sure your animals are currently vaccinated against rabies and to avoid contact with wildlife!
Do not Feed or Approach Wildlife, including feral cats.
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has given us cloth face coverings to distribute in our community. They are 100% cotton and measure 6.5″ by 4.5″ (minus the ear loops). If you would like a few for yourself or your family, stop by the health department anytime and help yourself to the ones on the table in our vestibule. If you’re representing a local business or community organization and would like a larger amount, please email JeffersonLHD@wv.gov with “Cloth Masks” in the subject line.
Because anyone could be an asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19, it is very important that everyone use a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth in public places, especially indoors. These cloth masks are an important public health tool, but do NOT replace social distancing and frequent handwashing.
Stay safe and healthy Jefferson County!
This Friday and Saturday, May 29 & 30, we will be offering free COVID-19 testing from 9:00AM – 4:00PM. Whether you’ve been feeling unwell, are required to have a test for work, or you just want to be tested for your own awareness, all are welcome! No appointment or insurance needed, just bring your driver’s license or other proof of address. Since the weather forecast doesn’t look too friendly, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races has generously allowed us to use their parking garage as the testing location — we will be able to operate rain or shine!
Jefferson County’s COVID-19 Task Force, a group made up of representatives from the county, municipalities and community stakeholders, has been meeting twice weekly to review and interpret guidance received from the governor’s office. The documents below should help answer many questions about businesses that are permitted to re-open.
Our staff will be at Asbury United Methodist Church tomorrow and Saturday along with the WV National Guard to do drive-through COVID-19 testing from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. More information at coronavirus.wv.gov
- The reopening of Jefferson County businesses per the Safer at Home Order is allowed.
- The 5 person limitation applies to any public or private social gatherings and while engaging in outdoor activities.
- The Board of Health may still issue further orders in the interest of protecting public health.
We anticipate further guidance will be coming from the governor’s office but are unsure when. Thank you all for your patience while we work to answer your questions and concerns.
Yesterday Governor Justice announced beginning May 4, 2020, West Virginia’s Stay At Home Order will be lifted and will be replaced by a new “Safer At Home” Order. Because Jefferson County is one of the 11 counties still considered to be hot spots, we are awaiting further guidance on whether we will be able to loosen social distancing and other regulations in the same way as the rest of the state. The governor’s office has said guidelines for hot spot counties will be released this weekend, and we will update our website and Facebook page as soon as possible.
For more information and to view the full order, click here: https://governor.wv.gov/News/press-releases/2020/Pages/COVID-19-UPDATE-Gov.-Justice-announces-%E2%80%9CSafer-At-Home%E2%80%9D-order-to-replace-%E2%80%9CStay-At-Home%E2%80%9D-order.aspx
If you are a currently permitted child care or licensed home day care and would like to reopen you must first contact the Bureau for Children and Families and apply to open as a Critical Care Center. Once you have done that and BCF notifies our office you are pending approval as a Critical Care Site then you must complete forms SG-101 and SG-101 A (download below) and return those forms to our office via e-mail at email@example.com or fax at 304-728-3314.
Prior to re-opening you are strongly encouraged have all of your childcare workers tested for COVID-19. They may contact their primary care physician or follow these instructions in order to get tested:
WVU will be offering testing to child care workers. They must call the hotline (304) 596-2890 prior to going to the tent outside Berkeley Medical Center to have an order placed. They will need to create a mychart account to get their results and to be able to show their employer results. The staff at the tent will provide them with instructions on how to create this account.
After the employees receive their results, the owner or manager should report them to our office. Once you have complied with all of the above, you will be approved to reopen. Further questions can be directed to Gillian Beach at (304) 728-8416 ext 3033 or at the e-mail listed above.
April 29, 2020
Jefferson County Health Department
COVID-19 is a highly transmissible virus. Common symptoms of the virus are cough, fever, shortness of breath, muscle aches, chills and sometimes diarrhea or loss of sense of smell or taste. Some people are infected but feel normal and never develop symptoms. It is difficult to determine who can transmit an infection since an infected person might be able to infect someone else even 2 days before they first develop symptoms of the virus.
Each time a person leaves their home and interacts with other people they increase the chance that they will become infected. There is currently some discussion about slowly resuming many activities. Although we all hope that the coronavirus causing COVID-19 illness may be spreading less rapidly, more people in our communities are developing COVID-19. During the coming months we will each personally know people who are infected and some people who become seriously ill or die from this virus.
All individuals are susceptible to this virus. Avoid crowded places where you would likely have an increased risk of exposure to an infected person. Some people are not aware where they may have been exposed to the virus but other times people can identify that they had contact with a person known to be infected by COVID-19. Sometimes these infected contacts are family members, personal acquaintances or are contacts in a place of business. When a person is identified with COVID-19 infection the Health Department speaks to the person and tries to identify and notify others with whom they may have been in contact. When a location is identified as a possible place where several people may have transmitted the infection the Health Department will evaluate the location and recommend as needed further testing, cleaning and sanitizing the location, changing business practices or other actions to minimize the risk to public health.
Sometimes people who may have been closely exposed to an infected person will be advised to isolate themselves and they may be recommended to have a test for the virus. In order to minimize privacy concerns, the Health Department will typically not publicly disclose names or specific locations of infected people, especially where the risk to public health has been minimized.
We should all be compassionate and thankful that the workers in all essential businesses are willing to continue to provide service to the public. Essential business workers, like many others who serve the public, are at increased risk of developing COVID-19. If a person interacts with many people each day their risk of developing or transmitting this potentially deadly disease increases.
Although current research indicates that the virus that causes COVID-19 is not likely to be transmitted in food, food service workers are at similar risk as other essential business workers and should maintain social distancing, hand washing, sanitization, and other precautions when interacting with each other and the public.
Wear a mask, keep your distance, have the minimal number of people involved and only shop when necessary. This will decrease the risk that you will transmit or receive COVID-19.