HUNTINGTON, West Virginia. The Cabell-Huntington Health Department is alerting the public of accelerated community spread of COVID-19, which is not improving with current actions. Since our last advisory on October 1, Cabell County has seen further increase in infection rates and in daily percent positivity rates, despite increased laboratory testing and test availability. Widespread disease in the community increases exposure risk to the public, increases the risk of exposure to vulnerable populations, and reduces the effectiveness of contact tracing as a means of controlling disease spread. Widespread disease burdens individuals and families. Necessary quarantine measures cause further personal inconvenience and reduce the availability of the workforce needed to run businesses, schools, and healthcare facilities.
The Cabell-Huntington Health Department fully supports and participates in all actions recommended by the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, the WV Governor’s Office, and the efforts of the WV National Guard in controlling the spread of this deadly disease. Dr. Michael Kilkenny, Cabell County Health Officer, says, “Our citizens have stepped up to protect themselves and the people they care about by wearing masks, washing hands, and watching distances. They are taking responsible advantage of testing opportunities. They are even getting record numbers of flu shots to protect themselves. Still, this COVID-19 car is skidding toward the wall. We need to stay focused, keep steering, but ease up on the gas.”
In order to reduce unnecessary contacts and to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Cabell- Huntington Health Department is making the following voluntary recommendations:
- Persons at high risk for severe COVID-19 disease should stay at home.
- Family members of persons at high risk should restrict outside contact as much as
possible while maintaining physical and emotional family support.
- Family gatherings should be reduced to necessary contact.
- All persons capable of working from home should consider doing so and all
persons who can safely stay at home should do so as much as possible.
- Business transactions should be as contactless and as safe as possible.
- Workers should follow all government issued guidance regarding work attendance, i.e., WV School Alert System, and all COVID-related safety measures.
- Workers should comply with all COVID related safety measures.
- Consider limiting travel to necessary travel only.
- Plan COVID safety into all upcoming holiday events.
- All voters should exercise their right to vote in as safe a manner as possible, consistent with their desired and available options.
These recommendations are elective and voluntary and may be superseded by future governmental orders if those become necessary. Citizens are asked to follow the COVID disease trends as posted by the State of West Virginia at the WV Department of Health and Human Resources website and for education related COVID recommendations, the WV Department of Education website. Other local entities have posted COVID dashboards and there are reputable national COVID dashboards to assist the public in decision making. “We have been able to slow the spread of this disease before, and we can do it again, by being smart and careful,” added Dr. Kilkenny.