SEPTEMBER 14, 2021 UPDATE
The Greater Greenbrier COVID-19 Task Force met this morning via conference call and reports the following information.
— GREENBRIER COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: We continue to be in the “red,” with our daily percent positive and infection rate remaining very high. The hospital is at or near capacity. (The latest numbers will be posted this evening or tomorrow.) What can we do? We can get more folks vaccinated, give boosters to high-risk folks, social distance, and wear masks indoors and in crowds. Our peak for the delta variant surge won’t occur until at least Sept. 25. We are averaging one death per day in the county. This is preventable in the majority of our population. Please encourage our business owners, politicians, leaders, and community members to wear masks to lead by example as we are asking of everyone. It’s another layer of protection to support our health care workers and community. We have lots of testing options available across the county. If you have any symptoms, please get tested.
— FREE TESTING: Free testing will be offered at the State Fair Monday-Friday in the free parking area from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Turn in by the extension office. They’re located by the handicapped parking. Rainelle Medical also offers free testing daily. See their update below for more info.
— VOLUNTEERS. We are working on a way for trained volunteers to help do case investigations so the health department can continue to handle the current workload. Stay tuned for info from Julian Levine. If you are interested, his email is: email@example.com.
— GREENBRIER COUNTY SCHOOLS: We are committed to keeping our schools open. Thus far we have not had any outbreaks in schools, which is defined as 10% of students testing positive. We did have to close Ronceverte Elementary last week for one day. Our cooks and board staff are working in the cafeterias to ensure students get fed. We are doing our best to keep our buses staffed, but that is a serious challenge for us. We continue to see a number of positive cases in the schools. No students have required hospitalization, though, and we are thankful for that. Face masks are an ally in terms of quarantining. Most quarantines are due to exposure in athletics, outside school, or in the cafeteria.
— GREENBRIER VALLEY MEDICAL CENTER: We have 19 COVID patients in the hospital currently. Ten are in the COVID unit, 9 are in the ICU, and 5 are on ventilators. No visitors are allowed. Please only come to the emergency room for emergencies. VIsit urgent care or primary care for minor medical concerns.
— TESTING SITES: The hospital is NOT a public testing site; they are focused on treating patients who are positive. Please visit other providers such as Robert C Byrd Clinic, Rainelle Medical, MedExpress, CVS, and more for testing.
— ROBERT C BYRD CLINIC: We continue to see significant growth in the number of patients presenting for testing and treatment to our mobile clinic. We expanded our hours for testing to 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Our mobile clinic alone is seeing over 100 patients per day. We still offer the PCR tests with results in 24 – 48 hours. Rapid tests are available now. We continue to provide vaccines Monday-Friday as part of routine visits and vaccine clinics on Thursdays and Fridays. More people are getting vaccines recently. Some of our regular appointments may shift to telehealth in the near future. We will begin offering monoclonal antibody injections in the very near future.
— RAINELLE MEDICAL CENTER: We are doing FREE COVID testing every weekday at the Rainelle site from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1 p.m.-4 p.m., with the exception of Friday only being 10 a.m.-noon. Vaccines continue to be offered every Thursday by appointment only from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Rapid testing is by appointment only and only for those who have symptoms if rapid tests are available. We also offer free testing at the site behind Greenbrier East from 10 a.m.-noon on Monday-Thursday. There is little to wait at this location. We get results back within 72 hours. Free sports physicals are available there also. Please call to make an appointment at 304-645-1052. We are beginning to offer monoclonal antibody treatment. Please call the main office to make an appointment. Expect longer than normal wait times when using our clinic as we are short-staffed and demand for health services is high. Patients are asked to wait in their cars until called in for their appointment.
— TEST RESULTS: Labcorp is getting test results out usually within 2-3 days. Please remember that you can get results more quickly by logging onto your Labcorop online account.
— COMMITTEE ON AGING: Our centers are now closed for activities and meals (Fairlea and Rupert), but we continue to offer in-home/delivery services. We are also continuing to provide all regular services. Masks are required at our facilities. We are actively seeking employees to continue providing services to our seniors. If you’re interested, please call 304-392-5138.
— THE HUB: Meals will begin again soon. The cafe, tech express, and dinner specials will be available throughout the 21-22 school year. We are taking a few weeks to make plans right now. Americorps positions are open now if you know folks who are interested.
— THE GREENBRIER: A blood drive will occur at the Greenbrier Sports Performance Center on Sept 22 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Vaccinations will also be available that day from 1-4 p.m. Both Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson will be available.
— EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. EMTs are stretched thin right now. We are doing all we can to support them. More requests for facility sanitization are increasing, and we are coordinating that to get them cleaned as quickly as possible.
— WEEKLY MEETING: Since we are in the midst of a surge, our Task Force meets weekly to stay on top of the situation.
— PRAYER VIGIL: We are planning a prayer vigil to support health care workers and patients at the hospital. Stay tuned for details soon.
Submitted by Senator Stephen Baldwin, chair of the Task Force.