Health department identifies 1st positive COVID-19 case in Hardy County

Published: Mar. 31, 2020 at 10:56 AM EDT
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The first positive case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Hardy County, West Virginia.

According to the Hardy County Health Department, a patient who had been traveling has been self-quarantined since arriving home in Hardy County and has followed all proper CDC protocols since that time to protect their community members.

Previously, there had not been any confirmed cases in our local West Virginia counties.

As of 5 p.m. on March 30, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) had confirmed a total of 145 coronavirus cases in the state, with 21 new cases identified from Sunday to Monday.

Medical providers in the state are required to report test results to their local health departments, which then provide them to DHHR, which updates their

each evening.

Private commercial labs also have to send their test results to DHHR. However, state officials say the reporting of negative and pending tests from commercial labs has been inconsistent, resulting in delays in reporting.

By March 30, at least 3,827 residents had been tested, with 145 positive cases and 3,683 negative cases, as well as one confirmed death.

These are the current confirmed cases by West Virginia county:

Berkeley (14)

Cabell (1)

Greenbrier (3)

Hancock (3)

Hardy (1)

Harrison (10

Jackson (8)

Jefferson (6)

Kanawha (23)

Logan (2)

Marion (5)

Marshall (4)

Mason (3)

Mercer (2)

Monongalia (31)

Morgan (1)

Ohio (9)

Pleasants (1)

Preston (2)

Putnam (4)

Raleigh (3)

Randolph (1)

Roane (2)

Tucker (2)

Upshur (1)

Wetzel (1)

Wirt (1)

Wood (2)

The Hardy County Health Department said they have been getting a lot of questions wondering exactly where the one case was located and who the person may be, but that they cannot release that information. That's in line with the policies of all health departments reporting COVID-19 test results. Patients are typically only identified if they choose to self-identify to the media, which is why you've seen so many reports about celebrities and politicians with cases.

Hardy County officials emphasized that people need to follow social distancing and the 'Stay at Home' order for West Virginia, because it "WILL be the difference between life or death for a lot of people."

What to know about preventing COVID-19

COVID-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, including when an individual coughs or sneezes. These droplets may land on objects and surfaces. Other people may contract COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth.

Symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days following exposure

The elderly and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems, lung problems, and diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness.

Most people, however, recover from the COVID-19 without needing special treatment.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent or antiviral medication to treat COVID-19. The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.

The Hardy County Health Department recommends everyday preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

​• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

​• Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.

​• Avoiding exposure to others who are sick.

​​• Staying home when you are ill.

The CDC does not recommend that asymptomatic, healthy people wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others.

The West Virginia DHHR's COVID-19 information hotline is available 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304

As of Monday, Gov. Jim Justice closed all state park campgrounds and issued an executive order that directs anyone traveling into West Virginia from areas with high case totals to quarantine for 14 days.

“For those who are crossing our state lines conducting interstate commerce, or commuting for work or essential business, military duty or health and medical care reasons, we don’t want to impede you," Justice said. "This is aimed at people from Louisiana, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Italy or China, and other places where COVID-19 has spread substantially. We have to do everything we can to protect our citizens and these folks have got to self-isolate if they are going to come here."

The governor has charged West Virginia State Police to monitor the situation.

Major General James A. Hoyer announced Monday that 359 members of the West Virginia National Guard are currently on duty.

Gov. Justice says lawmakers are working on getting additional waivers for the free meal program for students in the state as well.