WVDHHR Sec. Bill Crouch presents timeline on PHCC outbreak

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Gov. Justice and state officials provide an update for media on COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

There were five COVID-19 deaths in West Virginia since the Governor’s previous briefing on Wednesday, July 31, 2020. Gov. Justice stated while the number of cases is up, so is the number of tests being performed.

“West Virginia, you have got to wear your mask,” said Gov. Justice. “You can’t ease off. Do everything you possibly can.”

He reiterated statements from Wednesday about his concerns of the virus migrating into West Virginia from the south.

West Virginia is fourth in the nation for the rate of getting CARES Act funding out. This is according to a U.S. Treasury report. The Mountain State is behind only California, Colorado and New York. $63 Million has been sent out to counties and cities from the CARES Act funding. The Governor told leaders to continue to apply.

$2.5 million dollars will be given for testing students and faculty at West Virginia’s smaller higher education institutions. This does not include Marshall and WVU. The Governor wants everyone who is coming to these schools to be tested for COVID-19, whether they are in-state or from out-of-state.

Testing is coming to McDowell County in August. These will be at Southside Middle School in War, WV and at the Tug Lot in Welch.

Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Secretary Bill Crouch expanded about the Princeton Health Care Center outbreak. He stated PHCC did the correct things in response to positive cases among their staff. The employees were asymptomatic when they were tested.

The first case was identified on June 30 which prompted testing at the facility. The first person had not been in the facility and quarantined. The testing on July 1, 2020 revealed a second person with the virus who was immediately began isolation. The next case was discovered on July 17. From that point there have been three additional rounds of testing at the facility. The most recent was completed by Friday, July 31, 2020.

The R-T value continues to fall in West Virginia. That is according to Dr. Clay Marsh. Since the briefing began on Friday, the number dropped below 1-percent.

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