Fayette Co. Health Dept. making recommendations to local businesses and churches amidst increase in cases

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Because of the recent rise in cases and concerning trends in Fayette County, the health department is also making recommendations to local businesses clinics and churches.

Health Officer Dr. Anita Stewart says she has asked churches to go back to virtual services, those in the medical community to do Telemedicine when possible and is also encouraging takeout at restaurants. 

“We’ve gotten a really good response,” Dr. Stewart said. “We’re so blessed to have such a responsive and creative community to come up with solutions on their own and that really care about the health and safety and we’ll being of our community.” 

Per the governor’s order for mass testing, the health department is working on ways to test every day this week. On Tuesday, the health department held barrier-free testing in both Mt. Hope and Hico.

Some of the troubling trends locally is that at the testing sites, Dr. Stewart says they are seeing more symptomatic and exposed patients coming to be tested as their last two testing events. This has turned a 7 to 8% positivity rate.

Dr. Stewart says these cases are from community spread as people are either not quarantining after being tested or gathering in large groups. 

“We’re still seeing cases roll in every day, high numbers of contacts for people still seeing behaviors that aren’t really conducive to mitigation strategies so lots of interactions, lots of non-essential activities happening in our community,” Dr. Stewart said. 

Another concern is hospitalizations as Dr. Stewart says the county now sits at 14 hospitalizations and 4 are on ventilators.

There will be testing on Wednesday by New River Health in front of the old K-mart property in Oak Hill from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

On Thursday and Friday, the health department is planning to test at the health department by appointment. Their phone number is (304) 574-1617.  

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.