Local News | 104.5 FM & 1440 AM | The Voice of Morgantown | Morgantown, WV
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The 2020 All American Grand Bash will now be the Virtual 2020 All American Grand Bash. The event will streamed and available on your phone or computer from 1 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 25.
Complete details are at the event website here.
The decision to go virtual was made due to a recent uptick in COVID infections in Mon County and advice from state health officials. While supporting the charities is very important, we value the safety of the people who planned to attend the event.
Gov. Jim Justice threatened to close bars and eliminate indoor dining in Monongalia County early next week unless the COVID-19 numbers improve there.
The Monongalia County Health Department reported 246 active cases Friday, a number that has risen by more than 60 percent since July 1. Justice said the numbers aren’t good.
“If our numbers continue over the weekend in a negative way we’re going to have to move to shut down our bars and (in-dining) restaurants in Mon County,” Justice said at his coronavirus media briefing at the state capitol Friday.
Justice said he needs to see “real movement” in the numbers.
“Movement in our direction,” he said.
The Monongalia County Health Department statistics show more than half of the new positive cases are linked to residents between the ages of 20-29. Officials said an outbreak began a few weeks ago when people who were COVID-19 positive went to several bars. There area also cases linked to vacation travel.
Justice said he’s not going to let the situation get “out of control.”
“We know the situation and how critical the situation is,” he said.
Justice also expressed disappointment Friday about the statewide COVID-19 numbers with more than 1,000 active cases and a virus spread value (Rt) that now ranks as the top in the country. He said the numbers would head in the opposite directions if residents would follow his mandatory mask order for indoor public places.
“This is the only bullet that I’ve got right now,” he said. “The next available bullet is to shut our state back down. We need to understand that my executive order said mandatory.”
He said he’s considering limiting public gatherings across the state.
“We may need to go to a small number statewide,” Justice said.
Justice said the state needs to be “almost flawless” in its mask wearing.
“Eighty percent is what we surely have to have but we need to be 99.9,” he said.
The Monongalia County decision will come down to the numbers. Justice did thank the owners of some restaurants and bars in the Morgantown area that have voluntarily closed.
Justice said he realizes any decision he makes will impact WVU’s fall semester.
“We’ve gotta stop this and gotta stop this now or we’re not going to be able to end up with kids back at West Virginia University,” Justice said.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A free COVID testing event will be held tomorrow at the Morgantown Farmers Market from nine a.m. to four p.m. No appointment is needed. People under eighteen must be accompanied by an adult and some type of identification including current contact information is required.
A second event will be held Saturday from nine a.m. to four p.m. at the Mountainview Elementary School.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – WVU officials addressed testing and PPE details during a Return to Campus Conversation on Thursday. The event provided details about how testing will be administered and rules for the use of PPE and possible penalties for noncompliance.
Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Rob Alsop repeated a previous message that masks and face coverings will be required while on campus. Alsop said social distancing will be required in all areas of campus along with masks, good hygiene and urged students and faculty to self-monitor for symptoms.
Failure to take the test could result in a $250 fee to the students, referral to student conduct or even expulsion for repeated offenses. Employees who do not schedule and complete a COVID test before August 15 will be subject to discipline that could include leave with no pay or requiring the employee to take leave.
Masks are also required for staff, faculty and students. Noncompliance with the mask order for students could result in disciplinary action or even a reduction in grade.
Alsop says making this semester a success relies greatly on personal responsibility.
“The personal accountability and Mountaineer Spirit of taking taking care not only of yourself, but taking steps personally to keep other folks from getting illness who may have underlying conditions or maybe susceptible to get really ill will determine how successful we are this fall.”
Dr. Jeffery Coben, associate vice president for health affairs, dean of the school of public health asked students and faculty to continually self-monitor how they feel and stay home if they have any symptoms.
Coben adds the COVID conditions in Mon County are being monitored constantly and more guidance could result from that.
“We are strongly discouraging people from traveling out of state during this time,”Dr. Coben said,”And strongly discouraging people from hosting visitors from outside of West Virginia.”
Students who test positive will be contacted by the university and the Mon County Health Department for further direction and isolation instructions.
“We have been putting Arnold Hall back into service,” Alsop said,”Students who do test positive for COVID in our residence halls will be moved to Arnold Hall and the folks from Student Life will help with that move.”
Alsop said the student will not be charged for the move into Arnold Hall.
Off campus students would follow direction from county health officials.
Alsop says the university has been working closely with testing companies to get the most reliable, timely and accurate options.
“We have been working with Quest Diagnostics and making sure that we feel really comfortable about the accuracy of the testing, about the protocols for the testing and about your privacy,” Alsop said,”And we make sure our partners understand the importance about the turnaround time for these tests.”
Dr. Clay Marsh, vice president and executive dean for health sciences at West Virginia University says this is constantly changing situation and they are making the best decisions they can with the available information.
“We will do what we believe is in the best interest of the people that live here and work here and we want to open the university, but we are committed that will do that only if we can do that safely.”
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Mylan Pharmaceuticals and Upjohn, a division of Pfizer, has released the logo for the new merged company, Viatris.
The new logo and branding is designed to reflect Viatris’ principles that will redefine the healthcare landscape with capability, commitment and vision to address evolving healthcare needs. Viatris’ platform will provide a unique Global Healthcare Gateway that will offer partners ready access to more markets and patients worldwide.
Viatris is Latin for “three paths,” and the logo visually captures the company’s commitment to access, leadership and partnership. The “three paths” work together in harmony to empower people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life.
Future Viatris Executive Chairman and current Mylan Executive Chairman Robert J. Coury said,“Viatris will be focused on creating a more sustainable healthcare journey for patients worldwide while delivering value to all stakeholders for years to come. The Viatris branding reflects our drive to address the world’s emerging healthcare needs with passion and compassion. It also highlights our goal to chart a new course focused on improving patient outcomes by expanding access to medicine, providing leadership through innovative solutions and building best-in-class partnerships. We also will offer all partners ready access to more markets and the ability to reach more patients around the world through the company’s new and unique Global Healthcare Gateway™, which leverages Viatris’ unmatched global infrastructure to connect people around the world to the high quality medicines and services they need, making Viatris a true Partner of Choice.”
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The Varsity Club in Morgantown has temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.
Via social media, managers say the positive employee last worked at the facility on Sunday, July 5 from 5 to 10 p.m. All staff members were wearing masks and following guidelines during work shifts.
The facility will be closed while it is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
The post said,”We are adamantly concerned about the well being and safety of all our staff and community and we fell that it is in the best interest of everyone to be honest and transparent as humanly possible.”
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – COVID-19 infection rates are in a steep climb in Mon County, according to health officer Dr. Lee Smith.
“Our numbers have just about doubled in the last seven days,”Dr. Smith said on Talkline,”On June 30 we had about 160 cases and on the 7th of July we now have 300 cases.”
Morgantown and Mon County are watching 138 active cases, and that number is rising. Contact tracers have been working seven days a week to to find all the people that may have been in contact someone positive.
“Some of it vacation and travel-related, some is going to fitness and gymnasiums, a large number are bars and restaurants,” Dr. Smith said,”But, the common denominator here is people are not wearing masks and they’re observing social distancing.”
Many studies show masks are very valuable in stopping the spread of the virus. Dr. Clay marsh says in states with no mask directive cases increase by 84 percent and in places that require employees only to wear masks or face coverings the rate of infection is 70 percent.
“However, in states with executive orders that require patrons and employees in indoor establishments to wear masks there’s been a 12 percent decrease in the number of COVID positive cases,” COVID Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said.
Dr. Smith says the number of people that question the effectiveness don’t have access to all the data.
“Doctors and nurses that work everyday in the COVID unit where people are very sick,” Dr. Smith said,”They wear a mask, gloves, face shield and a gown and we’re not seeing outbreaks in these individuals in a work-related situation.
Twenty to 29-year-olds have the highest percentage of infections in state at more than 20 percent, the next highest is 50 to 59-year-olds at 15 percent. Smith says until we take the threat seriously the case numbers will continue to increase.
“We know that it causes heart diseases and lung diseases and other serious health conditions,”Dr. Smith said,”And we don’t understand the disease to the extent that we can make those predictions, so the best thing to do is to not get it.”
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – A downtown Morgantown business has closed after one of the workers tested positive for COVID-19.
Through a social media post, the Starport Arcade & Pub on Chestnut Street will be closed for staff testing and disinfecting. The post says the last time the COVID positive worker was on duty was June 27 and 28.
The business will reopen following a review of PPE and operational protocols.
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – COVID-19 cases in Mon County have increased 61.7 percent since July 1. The number of new cases in the past five days amounts to about 38 percent of the total cases reported in Mon County. There are now 112 active cases in the county and 153 people have recovered.
Through a social media post, the management of Crab Shack Caribba says one employee has tested positive for the virus. The Suncrest Towne Center location will be closed for cleaning and testing for staff. the complete post is below:
This is to inform the public that one of our staff member tested positive for COVID19. We will be closed for a few days as we get our staff tested who were exposed to this employee. We will also be doing a through deep cleaning of our facility before reopening. This employee was a buser and not a server, therefore was not in direct contact with any customers. This person was wearing both mask and gloves as per our strict policies. No other employee have any symptoms. But we think taking these precautionary steps is for the best interest of every one. It is unfortunate times we live in and living with COVID is a reality for the foreseeable future. Please understand that we are not the first place and we will not be the last. This is the reality. All we can do is practice the highest safety standards and keep each other safe.
“Monongalia County has seen a dramatic spike in COVID-19,” said Dr. Lee B. Smith, MCHD executive director and county health officer. “Theses cases are from restaurants and bar staff, as well as gyms and fitness centers, vacations, barbecues and travel-related exposures.”
Health department staff are struggling to contact trace all the new cases and will begin working seven days a week.
People who believe they could have been exposed should self-monitor for symptoms, which include shortness of breath, fever, dry
cough, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and loss of smell.
Health officials encourage people who like to contact trace on a volunteer basis to call 304-598-5100.