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Greater Greenbrier COVID-19 Task Force November 17 Update

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The Greater Greenbrier COVID-19 Task Force met this morning via conference call and reports the following information.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT. Cases are increasing. The virus is on the rise here locally with a significant uptick in hospitalized patients. Flu cases are now showing up as well. This is a critical moment. The more we follow guidelines, the better our results will be. Please mask AND social distance AND wash your hands. Greenbrier County has 269 confirmed cases, 3 suspect cases, 61 probable cases, 237 recovered cases, 89 active cases, 11 hospitalized, and 7 deaths. These numbers will be updated this afternoon.

THANKSGIVING. Some folks are asking if they should be tested before Thanksgiving gatherings? A negative test isn’t enough by itself to guarantee safety due to timing issues. Please exercise caution.

CONTACT TRACING. We did contact tracing for 25 cases all weekend and are 100% caught up on case investigations and tracing. What makes this work difficult is that some folks don’t give us a full contact list and some folks we call to trace won’t return our calls. Please always err on the side of transparency and communication if you are involved in contact tracing as a citizen.

RUMORS. With cases increasing, rumors are running rampant. Please do your best to share validated information. If you have concerns about a public health situation, please contact the health department directly. If you have a question for the task force, please contact Senator Baldwin at stephen.h.baldwin@gmail.com.

TESTING. Please do not show up to the Emergency Room for a COVID test. That’s not helpful right now to our emergency rooms which are dealing with urgent situations. Please utilize community testing at RCB Clinic, MedExpress, Greenbrier Physicians, Rainelle Medical Center, etc.

CASE FORMULA. Folks often ask what the formula for cases used in posts each day is. The formula is: Confirmed + probable + suspect = active + recovered + deaths.

SCHOOLS. We are concerned about the overall health, including mental health, of our students. This is a heavy load for young people to carry. We continue to make changes at the county and school level to meet the needs of our students based on the situation at the time.

HOSPITAL. We are experiencing a surge in cases right now. Hospitals across the state do have available beds and ICU beds, as do we locally. We have contingency plans in place if we need more beds. We do have staff members who are positive, and they are not working right now per CDC guidelines. We have ventilators available if needed.

WVSOM. We continue to follow all health department guidelines and maintain surveillance testing weekly. We did have 2 initial positives, but they appear to be false positives based on multiple follow-up tests.

RCB CLINIC. We continue to have ample COVID testing capacity on a daily basis at our mobile clinic. We also have plenty of flu vaccine available for the public.

RAINELLE MEDICAL. All screening procedures are the same as usual. Get screened and wait in your car for your appointment. Flu clinic today at Rainelle at the tent outside clinic from 9 to 5. If you get a flu shot at any of our locations from November 10 to November 20th, you will be entered into a drawing for a Thanksgiving Turkey Box (a gift card for turkey and a box of trimmings). Covid testing available at all sites.

COMMITTEE ON AGING. We divided our staff into two groups so that in case we do have a positive in a group, we will continue to have staff availability to provide services in the other group.

HOMELAND SECURITY. We have a list of vendors where you can get PPE and cleaning materials for folks who need them.

THE HUB. Tutoring and dinners continue to be available. Dinner is free for students and $5 for adults. Call ahead 304-647-4994 by noon to place your order, pickup between 4:30 and 6:30! We are using local produce and cooking from scratch. Free, quality tutoring is available 10am-6pm from Monday-Wednesday at the High Rocks Hub and Marvel Center (or virtually). To sign up for tutoring, email Jennifer.mason@dinsmore.com or tammy.bennett@dinsmore.com.

WV SENATE. If you know folks who still need help resolving unemployment issues, please have them send their name and phone number to stephen.baldwin@wvsenate.gov.

EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT. We lost a career first responder this week, Pnut Bland. Please remember his family and friends in your prayers. All of our county and first responder departments are fully functional right now. We are also available to help disinfect facilities if needed.

CHURCHES across the region are operating in various ways right now. Several who have been operating limited, in-person worship are pausing those services at the moment due to our local uptick in cases.

TECH EXPRESS is a High Rocks youth business based in Lewisburg and can fix desktop and laptop computers or resolve your hardware, software, or networking problems. They also help people who are frustrated with their technology, or want to learn to use a new device, program, or digital medium, whether it’s a phone, a computer, or a website. https://highrocks.org/ programs/tech-express/ Contact 304-900-0093 or techexpress@highrocks.org. Submit a request for help by filling out the request form at http://bit.ly/TechExSR to get your tech support order started.

COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS. Our children are facing major social pressures and challenges each day. We hear heartbreaking stories about their home life each day, so we appreciate the community’s hard work to keep schools open when safe so students can receive the support they need outside the home. We are partnering with Greenbrier Valley Hospital and Rainelle Medical Center to match donors with children in need for Christmas. If you have questions, please contact Brittany Masters at director@cisgc.org.

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