WV National Guard brings COVID-19 tests to Beckley ARH

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — COVID-19 positive cases are continuing to rise in Raleigh County.
Dr. Ayne Amjad, West Virginia’s state health officer, said 11 of those cases are staff at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital.

Governor Jim Justice declared the hospital a hotspot on Monday, August 3, 2020 because of this outbreak. He sent the West Virginia National Guard to deliver 500 tests to the viral respiratory clinic at the hospital.

Rocco Massey is the Community CEO of Beckley ARH.

“This was the governor seeing the need of increased testing. He partnered with us because we already have the infrastructure in place,” Massey said.

These tests are in addition to the ones BARH already provides. Cars were lining the parking lot of the clinic, waiting to get tested. BARH staff had to form four lines just to get everyone tested.

“We got Jan Care ambulance helping us. We have some state resources. We have two lab resources in addition to what we normally provide,” Massey said.

BARH Chief of Staff Dr. David Blaine said the more they test, the safer the community will be.

“The more we can test in this area and the more they know they are negative. They are going to be a lot safer in what they do in their daily activities,” Blaine said.

Dr. Amjad said the hospital is still equipped to handle the community’s needs.

“I would say they can still participate in community heath because they have enough staff to take care of the hospital and community needs,” Dr. Amjad explained.

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