WHEELING-OHIO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Thursday, December 24, 2020 (10:00 pm)
Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is announcing forty-two (42) new cases of COVID-19 in Ohio County for December 24, 2020. Currently, the health department reports a total of 2491 cases, including thirty-seven (37) deaths. Case surveillance, contact tracing, and monitoring continue for many of the reported cases.
Starting Monday, December 28th, and running until December 29th, the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department will hold free COVID-19 testing clinics at three locations in Ohio County. The lab used for processing will have shorter hours for the holiday week, as a result, the department’s testing clinics are shorter.
The free clinics are for those with or without symptoms and no insurance is needed. Participants need to bring a driver’s license, photo ID or other proof of address. No residency restrictions. Patients under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. This is a drive-up testing clinic and participants will be tested either in their personal vehicles or at a walk-up location near the testing sites. This special clinic is being hosted by the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department and the Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency. For more information call the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department at (304) 234-3682.
The Health Department is reminding residents that the county is currently RED in the daily WVDHHR County Alert Map. Travel sports teams are prohibited from participating in games, practices, or other types of competition within counties designated as gold, orange, or red in the alert map. The restriction does not apply to teams that play in defined, relatively small geographic areas, such as within a single county or a few counties in the state. In addition, all purely social gatherings are limited to 10 individuals. The limitation does not apply to any activity, business, or entity that has been deemed essential, such as religious services, weddings, or group meetings, conferences, or other special events held for essential businesses and operations. Consult your local health department for more details.
We are dedicated to ensuring that all residents of Ohio County and West Virginians have access to a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. The initial focus of West Virginia’s vaccine distribution is to take care of the most vulnerable in our state. Vaccines will be in limited supply at the beginning, so the first phase will be distributed to individuals in high-risk settings such as healthcare, first response, long-term care facilities, and education. This approach is imperative to preserve critical infrastructure, such as making sure our healthcare system can meet our state’s needs. We understand that there are questions regarding when the COVID-19 vaccine will be available, and we are urging patience for all those waiting. As we receive more vaccine supply and have vaccinated those outlined in the state’s plan for Phase 1, we will move forward with vaccinations for the general public. We appreciate your commitment to protecting West Virginia.
Ohio County and Ohio Valley residents are advised to limit public contact, implement social distancing, work at home where possible, wear a face-covering when out in public, indoors, or at work, wash your hands frequently, and contact your personal physician if you become ill with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is reminding Ohio Valley residents that if you are tested for COVID-19 that you are to remain in home isolation until you receive negative test results. Individuals who test positive will be contacted by a county health department and receive further instructions in regard to care and monitoring.
If positive, you should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19 prior to arriving at the facility. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
The off-site Wheeling Hospital COVID-19 testing clinic continues operations. Ohio Valley residents who are interested in being tested at this location should call the on-call number at (304) 221-3995. Testing is also available at Doctor’s Urgent Care, call (304) 232-0725 for more information; MedExpress is also testing for COVID-19, for more information call (304) 242-4228; Wheeling Health Right is offering testing, call (304) 233-9323 for more information.