Two new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Upshur County on Wednesday, and some local businesses are already taking precautions due to the potential of a local outbreak.
My Buckhannon contacted the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department multiple times Wednesday about the new COVID-19 cases in Upshur County, but they refused to comment or release any information to the public.
However, at least one local doctor’s office has been asked to shut down for two weeks. Dr. Ali Khan confirmed to My Buckhannon that his office will be closed for 14 days as a precaution.
“The staff are all well,” Khan said. “The quarantine was done as a precaution due to positive tests.”
Earlier in the day, the Buckhannon Stockyards posted a message on their Facebook page canceling a livestock sale set for Wednesday. Later, a second message on the page indicated there has been community exposure to COVID-19.
“There has been some community exposure to covid in our small community and we want to be proactive to try and stop the spread,” reads the post. “Please be safe and if you have symptoms, please see your local health care provider.”
It’s unclear how many people may have been exposed locally. Anyone with questions or concerns about COVID-19 should call the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department at 304-472-2810.
Overall, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Wednesday that 35 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Mountain State.
Separately, the Lewis County Health Department said the county had five more cases of COVID-19 and one additional death, a 88-year-old female. Those numbers were not yet included in the official DHHR update.
In his briefing Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice sounded a particularly cautious note, pointing to new outbreaks around the state. More than 30 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed at a single church in his home county – Greenbrier – and he said four cases have been identified at a church in Ohio County, with more positives expected there.
Nearly 100 cases statewide are thought to be related to church outbreaks, according to the DHHR. At least six churches are now experiencing outbreaks, the governor noted.
“We have to do this,” Justice said of wearing masks sand staying vigilant, “or we’re going to end up with people dead. In my hometown of Lewisburg, if we don’t lose somebody there, it will be a miracle.”
A outbreak in Preston County has been linked to a trip to Myrtle Beach, the governor added, saying seven people have tested positive there.
While Justice stopped short of walking back any of the reopening steps West Virginia has taken in recent weeks – allowing larger gatherings and repealing almost all closure orders – he indicated restrictions could return if the virus continues to trend in the wrong direction.
“This is not smoke and mirrors,” Justice said.
Khan urged the governor to put the brakes on some of his reopening plans, pointing specifically to opening up nursing home visitation.
“The governor wants to open nursing homes to families,” Khan said. “This will be a disaster.”
The local doctor also implored residents to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.
“The second wave of COVID 19 will be worse,” Khan said. “Please wear masks and take all precautions. Help yourself and your loved ones.”
CASES PER COUNTY (Case confirmed by lab test/Probable case): Barbour (11/0), Berkeley (389/18), Boone (20/0), Braxton (3/0), Brooke (5/1), Cabell (75/2), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (10/0), Fayette (54/0), Gilmer (10/0), Grant (15/1), Greenbrier (37/0), Hampshire (40/0), Hancock (18/2), Hardy (40/1), Harrison (48/1), Jackson (141/0), Jefferson (208/5), Kanawha (246/7), Lewis (8/0), Lincoln (5/0), Logan (21/0), Marion (51/2), Marshall (37/1), Mason (15/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (15/0), Mineral (50/2), Mingo (9/3), Monongalia (133/14), Monroe (8/1), Morgan (18/1), Nicholas (7/0), Ohio (58/0), Pendleton (12/1), Pleasants (3/1), Pocahontas (20/1), Preston (22/7), Putnam (39/1), Raleigh (26/1), Randolph (144/0), Ritchie (2/0), Roane (11/0), Summers (1/0), Taylor (11/1), Tucker (5/0), Tyler (3/0), Upshur (8/1), Wayne (105/1), Wetzel (9/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (52/4), Wyoming (5/0).