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19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Mon County

President Trump approves Florida Disaster Declaration to supplement efforts related to the coronavirus. (MGN)
President Trump approves Florida Disaster Declaration to supplement efforts related to the coronavirus. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Mar. 25, 2020 at 4:45 PM EDT
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There are 19 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Monongalia County, according to the Mon County Health Department.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 16 residents and four staff members at Sundale Nursing Home tested positive for COVID-19. MCHD officials say two of the staff members do not live in the county. The first case was unrelated to Sundale Nursing Home

The health department has been working with Sundale Nursing Home management and employees and closely monitoring the situation.

“They have been extremely cooperative with this investigation as have the two hospitals,” said Dr. Lee B. Smith, MCHD executive director and county health officer

Dr. Smith noted the assistance of the West Virginia National Guard was enormously valuable in obtaining samples of residents and staff.

Dr. Smith said now the task of contact tracing for those diagnosed with COVID-19 is ramping up in an attempt to slow further transmission.

“Given that there are positive cases in the community, the real busy work for our health department begins, and even though this is work that takes place behind the scenes, it’s critically important to identify people who have been exposed and ensure quarantine and testing when necessary,” Dr. Smith said.

Health department officials said employees will be following up on all positive COVID-19 cases that have been confirmed by laboratory testing, interviewing patients to determine contacts after their symptoms began.

“The health department makes every attempt to contact individuals, which is why we want to reiterate that it is important to give good contact information when registering for the test, including with a working telephone number.”

Lee said the health department hired an emergency department nurse to assist in following-up on people who have tested positive.

Anyone waiting for test results should remain self-quarantined, making sure to keep safe distances for others, including family members with whom they reside, according to MCHD. They should not run any errands or make a grocery store trip, even on the way home from a test site. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 need to observe a strict isolation for 14 days and wear a mask.

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