WHEELING-OHIO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
August 22, 2021 (1:00pm)
The following is a media advisory from the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department.
The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is advising the public that current rates of COVID-19 transmission are HIGH and are forecasted to increase during the upcoming weeks.
We anticipate rates of new COVID-19 infections in the range of those seen in January of 2021 resulting in some serious illness and death. Rates of COVID-19 related hospital admissions, admissions to intensive care units, and ventilator use are likewise increasing.
Cases reported to the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department in the month of August have crossed all ages from young children to older adults.
Partially and fully vaccinated individuals represent one in five new cases in Ohio County cases in August.
The Delta Variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the dominant circulating strain causing more than 90% of recent infections in WV. Reports indicate that severely ill patients in local hospitals are much more likely to be unvaccinated than all reported cases, consistent with recently published reports regarding the protective qualities of COVID vaccination.
Ohio County residents are being advised of these events so that they can make appropriate decisions to protect themselves and others against COVID-19 infection. The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is asking residents to help “Shorten the Surge” by taking the following steps:
- Get vaccinated if not vaccinated and complete your vaccination series to become fully vaccinated. Individuals with specific immune deficiencies also have the availability of a third dose to increase the likelihood of vaccine protection.
- Mask up in all indoor public spaces, whether you are vaccinated or not and do so until the surge is over and the risk decreases. Consider also masking in crowded outdoor spaces.
- Maintain distance at all times as much as possible in public space.
- Use contactless or contact lowering services as much as possible.
- Continue to wash hands and sanitize surfaces frequently.
- Get tested for COVID if you develop any symptoms or have been exposed to someone who is infected with COVID.
- Participate in any COVID testing screening available at your school or work.
- Monitor the ongoing COVID trends using the WV DHHR COVID-18 Dashboard and the CDC CDC COVID Data Tracker
Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department COVID-19 Testing Clinic
The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department will hold free COVID-19 testing clinics Monday – Friday at the old OVMC.
Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department
9:00am – 3:30pm
OVMC (former VPC South parking lot, 2000 Eoff Street, Wheeling)
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 Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is reminding Ohio Valley residents that if they are tested for COVID-19 that they are to remain in home isolation until they 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.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics (subject to change due to supply and demand). Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines are available at all locations. Walk-ins welcomed at all locations.
Daily Health Department Clinics
8/26/21 – Walk-in Clinic at Health Department 9-11am & 1-3pm
8/27/21 – Walk-in Clinic at Health Department 9-11am & 1-3pm
8/30/21 – Walk-in Clinic at Health Department 9-11am & 1-3pm
8/31/21 – Walk-in Clinic at Health Department 9-11am & 1-3pm
9/1/21 – Walk-in Clinic at Health Department 9-11am & 1-3pm
9/2/21 – Walk-in Clinic at Health Department 9-11am & 1-3pm
9/3/21 – Walk-in Clinic at Health Department 9-11am & 1-3pm
(Effective 6/11/21 COVID-19 vaccinations will be given at the County Health Department located at 1500 Chapline Street, Wheeling, WV.)
- 9/1/21 – West Liberty University Back to School COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic at WLU Blatnik Gym, 9am-2pm.
- 9/8/21 – Oglebay Resort, Pine Room, 9am-1pm.
- 9/13/21 – Bridge Street Middle School/OCS COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic, 4-8pm.
Homebound COVID-19 Vaccination Program
Individuals who are homebound can call the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department to schedule a home COVID-19 vaccination visit. Ohio County residents can call (304) 234-3682 to set up an appointment and vaccination type.
Additional Dose of RNA COVID-19 Vaccinations
On August 13, 2021, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met and reviewed the data for use of an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine for immunocompromised people. ACIP made an interim recommendation for use of an additional dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (for persons aged ≥12 years) or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (for persons aged ≥18 years) after an initial 2-dose primary mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series for moderately to severely immunocompromised people and does not apply to people who received the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the additional dose of an mRNA COVID19 vaccine be administered at the earliest four weeks at least 28 days after a second dose and a person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses total. The additional mRNA COVID-19 vaccine dose should be the same vaccine product as the initial 2-dose mRNA COVID-19 primary vaccine series (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna). If the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available, the other mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered.
The specific list of eligible people includes:
- Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
- Receipt of solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
- Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy)
- Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (e.g., DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
- Advanced or untreated HIV infection
- Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (i.e., ≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory
While immunocompromised individuals do not need a prescription, or proof of their condition to get a third dose, individuals are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. West Virginians who are immunocompromised and meet CDC eligibility recommendations are strongly encouraged to choose COVID-19 vaccination, which now includes a third dose for mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna).
Ohio County and Ohio Valley residents are advised to limit public contact, implement social distancing, wash their hands frequently, and contact their personal physician if they become ill with fever, cough, or difficulty breathing.
The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is reminding Ohio Valley residents that if they are tested for COVID-19 that they are to remain in home isolation until they 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.