Officials from the Kanawha County Commission, City of Charleston and Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Wednesday urged residents to take extra precautions to avoid spreading Covid-19 as cases of the disease continue to rise in the county.
Kanawha County on Wednesday transitioned from orange to red on the state's Covid-19 metric map. In the Sept. 15 map on the West Virginia DHHR website, the county had 25.02 cases per 100,000 population in a seven-day rolling window.
Being red means the county must continue to suspend in-person learning and school-related activities, which can only be resumed when the county reaches yellow, gold or green on the Saturday metric map. As Kanawha County cases continue to increase, more than clusters and hot spot outbreaks exist, according to a KCHD press release. More community spread and infections in families are also being reported.
"We anticipate the number of cases will continue to rise as we see the full effect of Labor Day weekend activities," said Dr. Sherri Young, health officer and executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. "We can't let down our guards. Wear your mask, maintain social distancing, stay home when you're sick, and frequently wash your hands."
"The toll this is taking on the children in our community is immeasurable," said Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. "We all must take the necessary precautions and do whatever we can to stop the spread of Covid so our youth can resume some semblance of normalcy in their lives.
"We have to do this for them."
"Increasing Covid cases puts a strain on our health care workers and our emergency medical system," said Commission President Kent Carper. "We must do our part to stop the spread of this deadly virus."
Commissioner Ben Salango said, "This is a very difficult and frustrating time for all Kanawha countians. We have to make sure we are wearing masks, and following guidelines so we can begin in-person schooling and prevent the spread of Covid-19."
With the assistance of the West Virginia National Guard, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority will hold a free drive-up Covid-19 testing event from 8 a.m. until noon Thursday, Sept. 17 at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, 108 Lee Street East, Charleston.
No appointments are necessary.