HINTON, WV (WOAY) – The City of Hinton held an emergency meeting this Monday to prepare for COVID-19. City officials and business owners met to discuss what they need to know and what they can be doing now to prevent the spread of the virus.
The city invited professionals from Appalachian Regional Healthcare to the meeting in hopes they would give them accurate information on the virus. Joe Blankenship, mayor of Hinton, says there’s a lot of misinformation surrounding the crisis and he wants to answer as many questions as possible.
“Of course, when you have a meeting like this you may end up with more questions then you had originally, but our main goal is to make sure the people in our city and our county are protected,” Blankenship said.
One of the biggest concerns people in West Virginia have right now is the lack of testing for the virus. Blankenship hopes to get those questions answered as well.
“Where do we get tested, how do we get tested, can we get tested? Things of that nature. And just try to educate our people and alert them to the seriousness of this situation.”
Blankenship also mentioned that it’s extremely likely many people in West Virginia already have the virus, despite there being no confirmed cases.
“This virus is ahead of us. I think one of the reasons is we haven’t tested, there’s no confirmed cases in West Virginia because we’ve been limited with testing. I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think there’s no one in West Virginia that’s had the coronavirus.”
The meeting had a turnout of more than 30 people. Business owners, community managers and heads of various city departments attended. The idea was to give community leaders an idea of what to do now and what to expect in the coming weeks.