BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Commission has canceled future commission meetings unless a time-sensitive item arises.
Commissioners received an update regarding COVID-19 at the Thursday, March 26 meeting.
While the meeting took place, the commission streamed the meeting live to encourage community members to abide by the stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Jim Justice.
Dr. Joseph Reed called in to speak during the meeting and discuss some of the measures taken during COVID-19.
“I would just like to commend everyone that works so hard and is trying to hold things together,” Reed said. “I think the health care people have made major efforts to be prepared as best they are able, without knowing all the details, which is sometimes difficult.”
He said the hospital has expanded and separated patients that are coming in to be seen so there is a minimal chance of being infected; he also discussed the closure of schools across the state.
“Schools have had to close, and I think they deserve major credit for their efforts to provide food to individuals in need and also transforming to the online education packets,” Reed said.
“The college, of course, is closed and they are doing the same thing and I think this will possibly be eye-opening to how education can be done in the future, and I hope that all of us will learn something from the issues that have come to us.”
Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department Nurse Director Sue McKisic also spoke at the meeting.
“We just can’t express how much tracking is done with this and I really feel for places that have a lot more exposures than us because it could be months before they can get all this stuff done, so I don’t foresee this will be ending anytime soon,” McKisic said.
She added that Dr. Ali Khan’s office is separating his respiratory patients from his general illness patients and if they meet a certain criterion, they can be tested for coronavirus because he has a place set up in his parking lot.
Upshur County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Director Brian Shreves said the Upshur County Emergency Operations Center has activated to level four, which is continuous monitoring.
“We also got half of the order N95 masks for the first responders, and I have two meetings a day with the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security concerning this pandemic,” Shreves said.
Commissioner Sam Nolte made a motion to give the County Clerk’s office authority to pay bills and approve them, so the commission no longer had to have face-to-face meetings for the time being and commissioner Kristie Tenney seconded the motion.
“Future commission meetings are considered cancelled unless an item requiring immediate attention arises,” County Administrator Carrie Wallace said. “If so, the meeting will be held via teleconference; however, the agenda and call-in info will be distributed per normal and a call-in number will be provided.”
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