WASHINGTON, D.C. (WVNS)– U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is calling on West Virginians to adhere to federal recommendations. He released as statement Sunday, March 22, 2020 after speaking with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to discuss the situation in West Virginia.
“This morning I spoke with Dr. Fauci, a trusted medical expert on COVID-19, about the specifics challenges we are facing here in West Virginia,” Manchin said. “He shared some concrete steps we can take and stressed that the next two weeks are the most critical time to slow the spread of the virus. I want to pass on his recommendations so every West Virginian can do their part to defeat this pandemic. I urge every West Virginian to take these recommendations seriously and stay home as much as possible.”
Manchin is sharing clear and specific social distancing and safety recommendations every West Virginian should be implementing to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
· Self-isolation – Anyone older than 60, children, or those with underlying health conditions should stay home. While this is difficult for us as West Virginians, it means not visiting vulnerable grandparents or having large family gatherings until this threat subsides.
· Testing – Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should be able to get a test. However, due to supply chain limitations that is not possible right now. Senator Manchin is in constant communication with officials to secure more testing for West Virginia. Until more tests are available, continue to request a physician’s order for a test. Senator Manchin is advocating for the more than 200 West Virginians who have already contacted him with symptoms and are unable to get a test, or who have not received their test results. A member of his staff will keep in touch with each person daily until symptoms resolve, they receive a test or receive test results.
· Telework – Every West Virginian who is able to telework should do so.
· Shiftwork – For essential services where employers are unable to telework, employers should institute shiftwork to ensure six feet of distance between employees at all times.
· Tourism – Anything that would attract groups of visitors should be avoided for at least the next two weeks.
· Medical Equipment – Equipment is in short supply across the country and here in West Virginia. Senator Manchin is working with federal officials and private industries to get hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, rehab facilities and first responders the equipment they need to do their jobs safely. This is also an opportunity for West Virginians, to assist in this effort by making masks for hospitals, health clinics and first responders.
· Food and Supplies – Supply chain issues will not be a problem. West Virginians should go to the grocery store to get what they need. Be respectful and do not hoard food or supplies.
· Hygiene – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your hands to your face.
Manchin launched an information resource page where West Virginians can learn more about the COVID-19 outbreak and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please visit here.