Fayette County Delegate and ER doctor Margaret Staggers shares experience with COVID-19

FAYETTE COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – She is a state delegate representing Fayette County and she is an emergency room doctor at Beckley ARH, and now Margaret Staggers has gone public with her COVID-19 diagnosis and is sharing her condition.

As an ER doctor, Dr. Margaret Staggers has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, but now she’s fighting the virus personally as she first developed a strange cough on Sunday. 

“Then I started hurting all over,” she said. “Chills and sweats, and I was supposed to work Tuesday.” 

She called Beckley ARH CEO Rocco Massey, and he was able to get her a rapid test on Monday, which came back positive. 

Tuesday would have been her first day back at work in weeks, and as an avid mask and glove wearer, she was scratching her head wondering how she got it. 

“I was at a clinic on Friday that made me take the gloves off because they said they were dirty and I thought well, ‘I just put them on,'” Staggers said. “But that’s the only in exposure I got.” 

Now she’s home checking in with the health department daily.

She says right now her symptoms are  chills, sweats, loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue and cough but can still taste and smell and has a good oxygen level.

Because of her weird initial symptoms, she said if it wasn’t a pandemic she probably would have pushed through and gone to work which is why she in encouraging anyone who feels just a little off to be proactive. 

“The quote ‘asymptomatic people’ are probably having strange symptoms like, ‘I wonder why I don’t feel like eating. Why am I nauseated? Why do I have this strange cough?’” 

Now she continues to urge the public to stay vigilant and listen to health experts.

She says even though her symptoms are controllable right now, she calls it “misery” and as a doctor knows it can get much worse. 

 “Of course I work and see the people who have it, but I see the ones who are so desperately ill, not the ones who are hurting all over and walking around miserable like me, but you don’t want to end up on a ventilator and end up dying, smothering to death,” she said. 

Anna Saunders
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.