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Ellamore Fire Department halts non-emergency services as COVID-19 cases soar in Upshur County

The Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department announced Wednesday they are suspending non-emergency services after three members tested positive for COVID-19.

“Ellamore Volunteer Fire Department would like to notify the public that we currently have three members that have tested positive for COVID 19, two auxiliary members and one firefighter,” the department posted on social media. “We are working with the health department and all members are monitoring for symptoms. There has been no known exposure to the public.”

“At this time we are suspending all non-emergency services,” the announcement continues. “This will not affect our commitment to protecting our community/county.”

The news came moments after the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department issued a plea to county residents to cooperate with health officials as they try to contain the ongoing outbreak, which includes several breakthrough cases of vaccinated individuals.

“Citizens of Upshur County, we had 24 active cases today, 21 before 10:30 a.m.,” the health department wrote on social media Wednesday. “The Delta variant is in Upshur County. Please do your part to control and prevent further spread of this virus. We all know the routine, we have been dealing with this since March 2020.”

Specifically, the health department asked for cooperation once a case is identified.

“Not knowing you need to quarantine is not an acceptable answer,” the health department wrote. “Needing to list contacts is very important in contact tracing. Saying you have no contacts, or have not been around others, is not an acceptable answer — after all you had to be around someone to contract the virus. We are doing the best we possibly can, but many are reluctant to give information.”

With hospitalizations and deaths also increasing — two Upshur County residents have died in recent weeks — the health department urged residents to think of others.

“We are trying to protect your loved ones and other residents of our county,” the health department wrote. “You may regret your choices if your loved ones are affected. Please do your part to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

The Ellamore VFD echoed those sentiments.

“Please keep our members and our country in your thoughts and prayers as COVID cases are spiking once again,” the VFD wrote.

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