PINEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — With Wyoming County beginning COVID-19 testing this week, medical personnel need the essential supplies to defend themselves and their patients from a microbial threat.
But like many across the state and even the country, the Wyoming County Health Department is in desperate need of personal protective equipment, abbreviated as PPE.
Administrator Fred Cox said they are running on 5-percent of the PPE they requested, which has to be shared across the county’s 14 different agencies, including dialysis and EMS.
“We certainly appreciate everything that we can get, but it’s not enough,” Cox said. “We have to protect those front-line workers or the healthcare system will fall to the wayside and we won’t have any type of health care.”
For example, the second-most recent shipment the department received had only two N-95 masks for each of their agencies.
With the county just starting its own testing for COVID-19, Cox is concerned those needing the attention amid the pandemic may have to wait.
“At some point, when we run out of PPE for the folks that have to man that site, we will have to suspend that until we get more PPE, which, of course, puts the public even further at risk,” Cox said.
In turn, Cox said the department does not know how much equipment they will receive in their next shipment.
“It’s a science problem. It’s a medical problem,” Cox said. “It’s not a hysteria problem. It’s not a fearful problem. It’s one of those things that you just have to be methodical about.”
There is no word if the county will consider deciding on suspending their COVID-19 testing based on their shortage of PPE.