Elkins, W.Va. – Recently West Virginia began allowing more regular activities and businesses to resume. As people re-enter their communities, restaurants, parks, fitness centers and local businesses, Davis Health System officials remind people to be cautious and observe precautions that have been put into place.
“West Virginians did a good job of changing their behavior in March,” said Dr. Philip Chua, Davis Medical Center Hospitalist and Director of Hospital Medicine. “This undoubtedly helped flatten the curve of coronavirus, and has kept our state at a minimally low number of positive test cases. We need to remember though, that this progress is fragile.”
Due to the outbreak at Huttonsville Correctional Center (HCC), Randolph County has seen a drastic spike in confirmed cases in less than a week. While the majority of those cases are restricted to the correctional center, the county is also seeing increased community spread.
“We expected a small uptick in positive results due to increased availability of rapid Covid-19 testing,” said Chua. “This was not surprising. However, it makes me nervous that Randolph County is now hinging on institutional and community outbreak, yet more people than ever are going out and not practicing safe measures. People need to be realistic – there is not a vaccine or medicines to effectively treat this virus.”
Social distancing, hand hygiene and masking should continue, especially now that people are returning to work, restaurants, and businesses. Complacency in these practices could set communities back in their progress of fully reopening.
Dr. Chua said that following safety measures can help slow the spread of COVID, and that people can stay safe practicing the activities they already know such as:
- When dining out, check to be sure the tables are positioned with 6 foot distancing and that restaurant workers are wearing facemasks. Patrons should also wear face coverings as they may interact with servers and other guests.
- When standing or waiting in any line, respect distancing guidelines.
- Wash your hands after visits to businesses, stores and restaurants. Carry hand sanitizer for use after touching objects or surfaces in public.
- Keep hands away from your face including eyes, nose and mouth.
- Don’t leave home without a mask. Face coverings help protect you and others; and they prevent you from touching your face.
“The next few weeks will be critical in understanding how well we are moving about given the relaxed restrictions. It’s nice to see signs of hope in the community but we need to remember that the path of this virus is still unknown and it continues to sicken and kill people,” Chua cautioned. “Businesses are reopening but that does not mean coronavirus has gone away.”