OAK HILL, WV (WOAY) – On Friday, Governor Justice put out an executive order demanding that all nursing home residents and staff in the state be tested for COVID-19.
The Fayette County Health Department assembled a plan over the weekend to get it all done this week.
“We basically, at the health department, just came together with our team and said, ‘Okay, how are we going to make this happen?’ And then we were kind of aggressive to come up with a plan to make that happen this week,” health department administrator Teri Harlan said.
If everything does go according to that plan, 1,200 residents and staffers in Fayette County will be tested at all five nursing homes by Friday. On Monday, they began with 180 at Hidden Valley in Oak Hill.
“We have two teams inside who are testing the residents. We are, of course, working with the staff who work here at the nursing home,” Harlan said. “They make up part of those teams, and then we’re doing the staff of the nursing home outside, and they’ll just walk through, of course, practicing safe distancing.”
To pull off hundreds of tests this week, the health department made several calls over the weekend for supplies, but it was LabCorp who came through to supply the tests they need.
Another partner who made the big difference was Mt. Hope Fire and EMS. They have been committed to swabbing on Tuesdays and Thursdays for regular drive-thru testing, and now they’re doing it for the entire week.
“We’re really happy to be partnering with Mt. Hope Fire and EMS,” Harlan said. “That team is here today to do the testing. They’re going to work with us the entire week. They’re very committed to doing this, and they work so safely, so we’re really happy to have them as such a great partner.”
Because of this, the health department is changing their regular drive-thru testing schedule this week. The plan is to do it just on Thursday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
You are encouraged to call the health department at (304) 574-1617 if you feel the need to be tested.