There are two ways to test for

COVID-19 at Davis Medical Center

 

1. Antigen testing (also called rapid test): 

 

This test should only be used on patients who are:

1. Sick with COVID like symptoms and

2. Have been sick for more than 24 hours

3. Within 5 days of becoming ill

 

No test is 100% perfect, but when a patient fits into ALL of these categories, you and your doctor can be confident of the results 

                *Because some symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to Flu, and some patients also have sore throats, you will be tested for flu and possibly for Strep at the same time.

                 

               

                This test….

                                1. Is collected using a swab just inside the nostrils.

 

                                2. Looks for proteins that are part of the shell of the virus.

 

                                3. Should only be used within 5 days of becoming ill because the virus moves from the nose into the chest and lungs (and you can get a negative result, even though you do have COVID).   

               

               

 

2. PCR testing (also called molecular testing, screening test or RT-PCR): 

 

This test should be used on patients who:

                1. Have been sick for more than 5 days

                2. Had exposure to someone who is positive for COVID-19

                3.  Need a negative result to have a procedure

                4.  Need a negative result to return to work or school, or travel.

 

                This test….

                                1. Is collected using a swab that goes to the back of your nose (nasopharyngeal swab)

                                2. When the specimen is collected appropriately it is very accurate and you can be                                            confident of the results

                                                **The virus moves to the lungs, but some of the DNA will always be found in                                                   the nose (just not the shell of the virus) and this test looks for pieces of DNA                                                        that are specific to COVID

When Should I Return to Work After COVID-19? 

COVID-19 Q&A This is for general Q & A. We will not give out medical advice via this inquiry submission. Completed Q&A's will be made available to view here.

Holiday's with COVID-19

Updated: 11/6/202

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

 

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time when many families travel long distances to celebrate together. Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. If you must travel, be informed of the risks involved.

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More about Thanksgiving

Lower risk activities

  • Having a small dinner with only people who live in your household

  • Preparing traditional family recipes for family and neighbors, especially those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, and delivering them in a way that doesn’t involve contact with others

  • Having a virtual dinner and sharing recipes with friends and family

  • Shopping online rather than in person on the day after Thanksgiving or the next Monday

  • Watching sports events, parades, and movies from home

Moderate risk activities

  • Having a small outdoor dinner with family and friends who live in your community

  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing

  • Attending small outdoor sports events with safety precautions in place

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher-risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Going shopping in crowded stores just before, on, or after Thanksgiving

  • Participating or being a spectator at a crowded race

  • Attending crowded parades

  • Attending large indoor gatherings with people from outside of your household

  • Using alcohol or drugs that may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.

Considerations for Small Gatherings of

Family and Friends

Celebrating virtually or with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19) poses the lowest risk for spread. Your household is anyone who currently lives and shares common spaces in your housing unit (such as your house or apartment). This can include family members, as well as roommates or people who are unrelated to you. People who do not currently live in your housing unit, such as college students who are returning home from school for the holidays, should be considered part of different households. In-person gatherings that bring together family members or friends from different households, including college students returning home, pose varying levels of risk.

Organizers and attendees of larger events should consider the risk of virus spread based on event size (number of attendees and other factors) and take steps to reduce the possibility of infection, as outlined in the Considerations for Events and Gatherings.

There are several factors that contribute to the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 at small in-person gatherings. In combination, these factors will create various amounts of risk:

  • Community levels of COVID-19 – High or increasing levels of COVID-19 cases in the gathering location, as well as in the areas where attendees are coming from, increase the risk of infection and spread among attendees. Family and friends should consider the number of COVID-19 cases in their community and in the community where they plan to celebrate when deciding whether to host or attend a gathering. Information on the number of cases in an area can often be found on the local health department website.

  • Exposure during travel – Airports, bus stations, train stations, public transport, gas stations, and rest stops are all places travelers can be exposed to the virus in the air and on surfaces.

  • Location of the gathering – Indoor gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation (for example, small enclosed spaces with no outside air), pose more risk than outdoor gatherings.

  • Duration of the gathering – Gatherings that last longer pose more risk than shorter gatherings. Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more greatly increases the risk of becoming sick and requires a 14-day quarantine.

  • Number and crowding of people at the gathering – Gatherings with more people pose more risk than gatherings with fewer people. CDC does not have a limit or recommend a specific number of attendees for gatherings. The size of a holiday gathering should be determined based on the ability of attendees from different households to stay 6 feet (2 arm lengths) apart, wear maskswash hands, and follow state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.

  • Behaviors of attendees prior to the gathering – Individuals who did not consistently adhere to social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart), mask-wearinghandwashing, and other prevention behaviors pose more risk than those who consistently practiced these safety measures.

  • Behaviors of attendees during the gathering – Gatherings with more safety measures in place, such as mask-wearingsocial distancing, and handwashing, pose less risk than gatherings where fewer or no preventive measures are being implemented. The use of alcohol or drugs may alter judgment and make it more difficult to practice COVID-19 safety measures.

The following people should not attend in-person holiday gatherings

People with or exposed to COVID-19
Do not host or participate in any in-person gatherings if you or anyone in your household

Do not host or attend gatherings with anyone who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

People at increased risk for severe illness
If you are an older adult or person with certain medical conditions who is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or live or work with someone at increased risk of severe illness, you should avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.

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Considerations for Hosting or Attending a Gathering

If you will be hosting a gathering during the holiday season that brings people who live in different households together, follow CDC tips for hosting gatherings. If you will be attending a gathering that someone else is hosting, follow CDC Considerations for Events and Gatherings. Below are some general considerations for hosting a gathering that brings together people from different households. Guests should be aware of these considerations and ask their host what mitigation measures will be in place during the gathering. Hosts should consider the following:

  • Check the COVID-19 infection rates in areas where attendees live on state, local, territorial, or tribal health department websites. Based on the current status of the pandemic, consider if it is safe to hold or attend the gathering on the proposed date.

  • Limit the number of attendees as much as possible to allow people from different households to remain at least 6 feet apart at all times. Guests should avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs, with others not from their household.

  • Host outdoor rather than indoor gatherings as much as possible. Even outdoors, require guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking.

  • Avoid holding gatherings in crowded, poorly ventilated spaces with persons who are not in your household.

  • Increase ventilation by opening windows and doors to the extent that is safe and feasible based on the weather, or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.

    • For additional information on increasing ventilation, visit CDC’s information on Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home.

    • Winter weather can be cold, wet, and unpredictable. Inclement weather makes it difficult to increase ventilation by opening windows or to hold an event outdoors.

  • If setting up outdoor seating under a pop-up open-air tent, ensure guests are still seated with physical distancing in mind. Enclosed 4-wall tents will have less air circulation than open-air tents. If outdoor temperature or weather forces you to put up the tent sidewalls, consider leaving one or more sides open or rolling up the bottom 12” of each sidewall to enhance ventilation while still providing a windbreak.

  • Require guests to wear masks. At gatherings that include persons of different households, everyone should always wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose, except when eating or drinking. It is also important to stay at least 6 feet away from people who are not in your household at all times.

  • Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors. Keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.

  • Encourage attendees to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Provide guests information about any COVID-19 safety guidelines and steps that will be in place at the gathering to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Provide and/or encourage attendees to bring supplies to help everyone to stay healthy. These include extra masks (do not share or swap with others), hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and tissues. Stock bathrooms with enough hand soap and single-use towels.

  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items such as serving utensils.

  • Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and any shared items between use when feasible. Use EPA-approved disinfectantsexternal icon.

  • Use touchless garbage cans if available. Use gloves when removing garbage bags or handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands after removing gloves.

  • Plan ahead and ask guests to avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering.

  • Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.

The more of these prevention measures that you put in place, the safer your gathering will be. No one measure is enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Food and drinks at small holiday gatherings

Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or eating is associated with directly spreading COVID-19. It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food, food packaging, or utensils that have the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes. However, this is not thought to be the main way that the virus is spread. Remember, it is always important to follow food safety practices to reduce the risk of illness from common foodborne germs.

  • Encourage guests to bring food and drinks for themselves and for members of their own household only; avoid potluck-style gatherings.

  • Wear a mask while preparing food for or serving food to others who don’t live in your household.

  • All attendees should have a plan for where to store their mask while eating and drinking. Keep it in a dry, breathable bag (like a paper or mesh fabric bag) to keep it clean between uses.

  • Limit people going in and out of the areas where food is being prepared or handled, such as in the kitchen or around the grill, if possible.

  • Have one person who is wearing a mask serve all the food so that multiple people are not handling the serving utensils.

  • Use single-use options or identify one person to serve sharable items, like salad dressings, food containers, plates and utensils, and condiments.

  • Make sure everyone washes their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after preparing, serving, and eating food and after taking the trash out. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Designate a space for guests to wash hands after handling or eating food.

  • Limit crowding in areas where food is served by having one person dispense food individually to plates, always keeping a minimum of a 6-foot distance from the person whom they are serving. Avoid crowded buffet and drink stations. Change and launder linen items (e.g., seating covers, tablecloths, linen napkins) immediately following the event.

  • Offer no-touch trash cans for guests to easily throw away food items.

  • Wash dishes in the dishwasher or with hot soapy water immediately following the gathering.

Travel and Overnight Stays

If you decide to travel, follow these safety measures during your trip to protect yourself and others from COVID-19:

  • Wear a mask in public settings, like on public and mass transportation, at events and gatherings, and anywhere you will be around other people.

  • Avoid close contact by staying at least 6 feet apart (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who is not from your household.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (with at least 60% alcohol).

  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.

  • Avoid touching your face mask, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Travel increases the chance of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others. Use information from the following webpages to decide whether to travel during the holidays:

Considerations for staying overnight or hosting overnight guests

Consider whether you, someone you live with or anyone you plan to visit with is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19, to determine whether to stay overnight in the same residence or to stay elsewhere.

  • Assess risk for infection based on how you or your visitor will travel.

  • Consider and prepare for what you will do if you, or someone else, becomes sick during the visit. What are the plans for isolation, medical care, basic care, and travel home?

Tips for staying overnight or hosting overnight guests

  • Visitors should launder clothing and mask, and stow luggage away from common areas upon arrival.

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially upon arrival.

  • Wear masks while inside the house. Masks may be removed for eating, drinking, and sleeping, but individuals from different households should stay at least 6 feet away from each other at all times.

  • Improve ventilation by opening windows and doors or by placing central air and heating on continuous circulation.

  • Spend time together outdoors. Take a walk or sit outdoors at least 6 feet apart for interpersonal interactions.

  • Avoid singing or shouting, especially indoors.

  • Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.

  • Monitor hosts and guests for symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

  • Hosts and guests should have a plan for what to do if someone becomes sick.

Get your flu vaccine

Gatherings can contribute to the spread of other infectious diseases. Getting a flu vaccine is an essential part of protecting your health and your family’s health this season. Flu vaccines are useful any time during the flu season and can often be accessed into January or later.

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Steps to take if exposed to COVID-19 during a holiday gathering

If you are exposed to COVID-19 at a holiday gathering, while traveling, or at any time, quarantine yourself to protect others by doing the following:

  • Stay home for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.

  • Stay away from others, especially people who are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

  • Watch for fever (100.4◦F or higher), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19

  • Consider getting tested for COVID-19.  Even if you test negative for COVID-19 or feel healthy, you should still stay home (quarantine) for 14 days after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19.  This is because symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, and some infected people never have symptoms but are still contagious.

  • Do not travel until 14 days after your last possible exposure.

If you can’t completely stay away from others during the 14 days:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) away from other people.

  • Wear a mask that covers both the mouth and nose when you are outside of your home.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol).

  • Monitor yourself and household members for symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Get information about COVID-19 testing if you feel sick.

If you develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of the event or celebration, such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, or if you test positive for COVID-19, immediately notify the host and others who attended. They may need to inform other attendees about their possible exposure to the virus. Contact your health care provider and follow the CDC-recommended steps for what to do if you become sick, and follow the public health recommendations for community-related exposure.

If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may contact you to check on your health and ask you who you have been in contact with and where you’ve spent time in order to identify and provide support to people (contacts) who may have been infected. Your information will be confidential. Learn more about what to expect with contact tracing.pdf icon

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Holiday celebrations

Holiday celebrations will likely need to be different this year to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Avoid activities that are at higher risk for spread. Consider fun alternatives that pose a lower risk of spreading COVID-19.

10/1/20 UPDATE

Halloween

Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters.

Lower risk activities

These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends

  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space

  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance

  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest

  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with

  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house

Moderate risk activities

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)

    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.

  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart

  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.

    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.

  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart

    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing

  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart

    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.

    • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.

Higher risk activities

Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door

  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots

  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors

  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming

  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household

  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors

  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19

7/3/20 UPDATE

Protect vulnerable family, friends during 4th of July

When deciding the best way for you and your family to celebrate the 4th of July, Randolph-Elkins Health Department (REHD) Director of Threat Preparedness Bonnie Woodrum, RN, MSN, CIC, says this is not the time to change your mind set about being cautious. “We understand people want to celebrate, just please be smart about how you do it,” said Woodrum.

                She offered the following guidelines when planning weekend activities.

  • Get-togethers and barbecues should be held outside if possible with social distancing rules in place by limiting the number of people, placing tables and chairs six feet apart and asking guests to wear face coverings.

  • Designate a single person for the barbequing and serving – this limits the number of people handling or sharing utensils.

  • Consider single serve options for food items like chips, drinks, desserts and other.

  • Encourage frequent handwashing before and after meals.  Disinfect commonly touched surfaces like tables, chair arms, counters and trashcans.  Wear gloves when cleaning up the space and dispose of the gloves after use.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends writing down the guests in attendance in case it is needed for contract tracing in the future.

Covid is transmitted through contaminated droplets in the air, and according to Woodrum, prolonged face-to-face conversations can spread the virus.  “Think about the risk, not just for yourself, but for others,” said Woodrum.

“If you are healthy you may be more willing to take small risks when having a nice time at a private gathering.  Putting yourself at higher risk exposes everyone you come in contact with later, said Woodrum.

With coronavirus activity still present, vigilance remains the best defense in keeping families and communities safe. Visit the CDC website for more information about preventing the spread of COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov.

 

6/24/20 UPDATE

Free Community Covid Testing in Randolph County June 26 & 27

There will be a free community Covid-19 testing this Friday, June 26, and Saturday, June 27 at locations in Mill Creek and Elkins.  The tests are free to the public and will not be subject to pre-screening guidelines.

Testing on Friday will be from 8:30 am to 3 pm at the Davis Medical Center (DMC) Covid Testing Drive-Thru Site located on the campus of DMC.  On Saturday, testing will take place from 8 a.m. until noon at Valley Health Care in Mill Creek.  Tests will be provided on a first-come basis.

Medical volunteers will administer the test while motorists remain in their cars.  The screening involves a quick nasal swab, which will be sent to a state-designated laboratory for processing.

The Elkins Randolph County Health Department is coordinating the event and may be contacted for additional information at 304.636.0396.

All residents should continue to practice coronavirus safety measures including hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing face coverings while in public.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Education (CDC), these practices can help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

 

6/2/20 UPDATE

 

Randolph County COVID-19 Testing yields 809 negative results: two still out for processing

Elkins, WV – 811 individuals were tested for COVID-19 on Saturday, May 30, during drive-thru events held in Mill Creek and Elkins.  As of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 2, the Randolph –Elkins Health Department reports that the results on 809 of the specimens were received and were negative. The two additional specimens were returned to the state lab due to labelling errors, but the health department expects those results later today or Wednesday.

                “This is extremely good news for the county,” said REHD Director of Threat Preparedness Bonnie Woodrum.  “The results show that the outbreak at Huttonsville Correctional Center (HCC) has been  contained thus far, and community spread associated with that outbreak has been very minimal.”

Woodrum said those practicing safety precautions like social distancing and face masks are making a difference in community spread by protecting themselves and others. She added that these measures are still very important in minimizing the risk of a community outbreak.

“We saw at HCC how quickly the virus could pass from one or two infected people to more than a hundred inmates and staff.  We absolutely should not relax our precautionary measures,” she said.

The State Center for Threat Preparedness has determined that an additional Randolph County community sampling is not necessary at this time but may be requested later in June.

Health department staff are making calls to all individuals who were tested at drive-thru locations on Saturday.  Please wait for one of their representatives to call you with your results. 

 

 

6/1/20 UPDATE

Randolph County Collects over 800 COVID-19 Tests

On Saturday, May 30, the Elkins-Randolph County Health Department (REHD) collected more than 800 COVID-19 tests at two drive-thru locations in Elkins and Mill Creek.  The test swabs were transported to LabCorp, a state designated laboratory for analysis. 

“We expect to begin calling with results within five days,” said REHD Director of Threat Preparedness Bonnie Woodrum.  “We ask that people please not call the health department for their results. We can complete all required reporting steps more efficiently if people can wait until they are contacted.  We understand people may be anxious and will turn them around as quickly as possible once we receive them.”

The collection site at Valley HealthCare in Mill Creek provided 313 tests.  Davis Medical Center used all 500 tests made available by the WV Center for Threat Preparedness.

According to Woodrum, the operations at both locations were well coordinated.  Valley HealthCare provided testing from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m.; and, DMC exhausted their #500 supply of test swabs by 2 p.m.

 “The collaboration of all groups and volunteers was exceptional, especially considering we had less than 48 hours to plan and prepare,” said Woodrum.  “It shows amazing teamwork among our healthcare, public health and emergency services groups.  I thank them all for their assistance.”

Representatives who helped with the screenings included the REHD, Emergency Medical Services, Office of Emergency Management/911, Elkins City Police, Randolph County Sherriff’s Department, Valley HealthCare, Tucker County Health Department and Davis Medical Center.

The request for a large Randolph County community screening came from the WV Center for Threat Preparedness, which is a division of the WV Department of Health and Human Resources.  The screening will serve as a population sampling to determine if there is community spread, and if so, to what extent. 

Understanding Community Spread of COVID

As additional cases of the coronavirus are identified in Randolph County, Davis Medical Center is receiving questions about virus spread in the community.  Davis Health System Chief Medical Officer Catherine Chua, DO, FAAFP, FMNM, CPE, explains community spread and steps residents can take to help minimize it.

                The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describes “community spread” as those people who have been infected with the virus in an area, including those who aren’t sure how or where they became infected.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing more widespread coronavirus activity reach our rural areas.  How much the disease spreads may be the result of how seriously our community leaders and citizens follow safety guidelines,” said Chua. “Because the infection rate is high, social distancing and other preventive measures are extremely important.”

Randolph County saw infection rates jump from a single-digit to over 120 confirmed cases in less than 14 days which highlights how a low-case area can quickly become a viral epicenter.

“Coronavirus is highly contagious, and infected people can be asymptomatic, which means they are feeling or displaying no symptoms.  Right now there could be asymptomatic people, wandering about, unknowingly spreading the virus to others,” said Chua.

“Consider this, let’s say a person with COVID self-quarantines at home, not interacting with anyone.  The virus does not transmit to one, two or three other people.  And those one, two or three persons who did not contract the virus, now cannot affect an additional three, six or nine people.  Social distancing is still the best tool we have to stop the rapid spread of Covid.”

When maintaining a 6-foot distance from others is difficult, the CDC recommends that people wear face coverings in public places.

“Sneezing, coughing, speaking and singing can produce particles that can travel up to 6 feet and land on other people or surfaces.  If the particles reach the eyes, nose or mouth, or is inhaled into the lungs, the virus can transmit,” added Chua.  “Face masks help protect other people in case you are infected.”

“The Covid-19 situation is changing rapidly and it could be months, probably longer, before we have an effective vaccine or treatment.  The best tools against the spread are those we already know.  Whether you are a citizen, business-owner, or community leader, I urge you to set a good example by following prevention guidelines,” urged Chua. “We could be facing a public health crisis and these measures are vital to preserve our healthcare resources and reduce preventable deaths.”

In the event of a community outbreak, the CDC offers the following suggestions to prepare and protect yourself:

  • Stay informed about local Covid-19 situation.

  • Continue practicing hand hygiene, social distancing, face coverings and frequent cleaning of your home or workplace.

  • Let your employer know as soon as possible if your work schedule must change due to confirmed or suspected Covid in your household.

  • Stay in touch with family and friends especially if you, or they, have a chronic medical condition and/or live alone.

 

 

 

5/29/20 UPDATE

Community Covid Testing is Saturday, May 30

There will be a community Covid-19 testing this Saturday, May 30 at locations in Mill Creek and Elkins.  The tests are free to the public and will not be subject to pre-screening guidelines.

According to Elkins-Randolph County Health Department Director of Threat Preparedness Bonnie Woodrum, the testing will help state officials determine the amount of community coronavirus spread in the county.

Testing at both locations will be available from 10 am until 4 pm, or while supplies last. 

In Elkins, the public may visit the Davis Medical Center (DMC) Covid Testing Drive-Thru Site located on the campus of DMC.  Valley HealthCare will provide testing at their site in Mill Creek, 6 Town Center Plaza, Suite A. 

At the sites, medical staff will administer the test while motorists remain in their cars.  The screening involves a quick nasal swab, which will be sent to a state-designated laboratory for processing.  Testing will be by request, which means no criteria will have to be met, and no age restrictions apply.

Woodrum is coordinating the testing event with assistance from local groups including Davis Medical Center, The Office of Emergency Management, Randolph County Sherriff’s Department, Valley HealthCare, and the Randolph County Emergency Squad.  The West Virginia Army National Guard is providing 500 test kits for each site, required forms, PPE and coolers, and will pick up and deliver specimens. The Randolph County Sheriff’s Department will provide for support by law enforcement.

“Because our county has had a rapid increase in positive cases, including ones resulting from community spread, we need a better understanding of the magnitude.  This testing event will provide a good sampling from which to draw valuable data,” said Woodrum.

Residents should continue to practice coronavirus safety measures including hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing face coverings while in public.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Education (CDC), these practices can help reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Questions about the May 30, 2020 community testing should be directed to the Elkins-Randolph County Health Department at 304.636.0396.

 

 

5/15/2020 update

The CDC finally released long-delayed reopening guidance for schools, workplaces, camps, childcare centers, mass transit, and bars and restaurants.

  • The six one-page "decision tool" documents use traffic signs and other graphics to tell organizations what they should consider before reopening.

  • The CDC planned a document for churches, but that wasn't posted, AP reports. The White House raised concerns about recommended restrictions.

            See the checklists:

  1. Restaurants and bars

  2. Workplaces

  3. Child care

  4. Schools

  5. Youth programs and camps

  6. Mass transit

 
 
 
4/24/2020 update
 

State approves order allowing hospitals to resume more urgent procedures

Elkins, WV – On Thursday, April 23 the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, Office of Inspector General, approved Davis Health System to resume more urgent medical procedures.

                The order comes nearly a month after Davis Health System hospitals suspended non-emergent, non-urgent, and in-person medical and surgical care due to growing concerns for the safety of patients and healthcare workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.

                “We are taking a phased and deliberate approach to safely allow medical services to resume,” said DHS President and CEO Vance Jackson, FACHE.  “Elective, or scheduled, procedures are important to the patient’s health and we’re working responsibly to get these patients the care they need first.”

To begin phase one of reopening services, Davis Health System completed an application which was submitted to the Office of Health Facility Licensure and Certification.  The application outlined DHS’ roadmap to gradually reopen necessary medical care. Pursuant to standards set forth by Executive Order 28-20, important measures regarding patient, workforce and environmental safety are implemented:

Patient Care & Safety

  • All patients entering the facility will be given a mask.  Patients refusing to wear a mask will not be allowed to enter.

  • Patients requiring screening before entering our facilities include those who: (1) are symptomatic with fever and cough; (2) are scheduled for surgical or invasive medical procedures; and (3) have had known positive contact with COVID-19 persons.

Healthcare Worker Safety    

  • All staff are screened at the beginning of their work shift.

  • Sufficient resources of Personal Protective Equipment are available to all staff and are worn according to protocols of patient care.

  • Providers and clinical staff will wear surgical facemasks at all times. N95 masks are worn for high-risk procedures.

Facility & Environmental Safety       

  • Waiting areas, queue areas, and other public areas are arranged for social distancing.

  • Current No Visitation restrictions will remain in place.

  • All Davis Medical Outpatient Clinics are designated Non-COVID Care areas.  Screening for symptoms of COVID are not performed in these areas.

  • COVID testing is performed at off-site drive-thru locations on the DMC campus and at DirectCare of Elkins.

  • Daily intensive sanitizing and housekeeping measures in high-touch and patient areas.  UV lights in air handling units and terminal cleaning processes provide additional disinfection and decontamination of facilities.

Surgical Safety

  • To ensure safe, high quality care of each surgical patient, DMC is following the Five Phases of Care continuum.

  • All patients scheduled for surgical or invasive medical procedures will be screened for COVID.

Chief Medical Officer for DHS Catherine Chua, D.O. said their decision to move forward with some elective procedures was influenced by the fact that DHS hospitals have sufficient supplies of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to meet near-term needs, and county data has shown little-to-no growth in local COVID cases. 

“We will regularly review coronavirus activity data from the WV DHHR and local public health authority,” said Chua.  “Our ability to perform in-house rapid PCR covid testing allows us to screen all patients scheduled for invasive or surgical procedures which helps us preserve a safe environment for our patients.”

“We’re advising patients to talk to their providers about scheduling procedures that they may have postponed.  We are confident that we can provide care without compromising patient or staff safety, but the choice to resume treatment remains between the patient and their doctor. ”

 
 
4/23/2020 update
Davis Health System to expand COVID-19 testing

In-house laboratory can test up to 64 persons each day

Elkins, WV – Davis Health System is expanding its capability to provide COVID-19 testing for up 64 people each day, a striking increase over the state-allotted number of tests they have had available since their onsite screenings began on March 21.

                Nationwide shortages of necessary testing supplies has constrained U.S. hospital’s ability to screen proactively.   Davis Health, like others, tested only persons who were symptomatic and/or met other criteria established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  But an aggressive effort made by the health system will soon allow the three-hospital system to expand community, patient and employee screening services.

                “Thanks to outstanding collaboration among our diagnostic, medical and administrative teams, we have been able to secure the necessary supplies to develop our own SAR-CoV-2 assay, or PCR test for COVID,” said DHS Chief Medical Officer Catherine Chua, D.O.

                Chua said polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is the “gold standard” for COVID testing, and that the health system can now expand testing for patients and healthcare workers who have had primary exposure to COVID or who are symptomatic of cough and fever.  They can also pre-operatively screen patients before medical procedures, and patients prior to nursing home admission.  She added that the ability to aggressively test enhances the ability to contain and quarantine the virus by earlier identification of asymptomatic carriers.

                Procuring in-house laboratory testing required an investment of more than $60,000.  The process involved the purchase of testing supplies and submission of an Emergency Use Authorization (EAU) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“We consider this an essential service to residents of our communities,” said DHS President and CEO Vance Jackson, FACHE.  “Widespread testing is critical to reopening Davis Health hospitals, which we anticipate happening soon.  It is one of our most important tools in the fight to slow and reduce the spread of the virus.”

PCR testing at Davis Medical Center will begin the last week of April.  The test can run multiple samples at once, with capacity for up to 64 tests daily.  Test results are analyzed in two to four hours depending on testing volume.

“The rapid result time is important,” said Chua.  “We can more efficiently identify infected individuals, guide their medical treatment, isolate when appropriate and, contact and quarantine people they may have exposed to the virus.”

She said an “uptick” in positive results may occur with greater community screening.  “At first, we will likely see a small spike in the number of positive cases because the more tests we do, the more positives we’re likely to have.  However, because we can identify and isolate more efficiently, we should be able to flatten the curve and be successful in lessening the transmission.”

The expanded testing will be available in the following ways:

  • The public may contact the Davis Health System COVID Nurse Hotline at 304.630.3088 for instructions and testing collections sites. 

  • The DMC Campus Drive-Thru Screening is available Monday through Friday from 10 am until 4 pm.

  • DirectCare of Elkins will offer drive-thru COVID testing from 9-10 am and 4 to 8 pm, Monday through Friday; and, during regular walk-in hours on the weekends (Saturday 9 am to 1 pm, and Sunday 12 pm until 4 pm.  Patients will call the DirectCare number, 304.636.4585, from their car and receive instructions from the staff on how to proceed through the testing area.

  • COVID testing is available at the DMC Emergency Department but will result in a patient charge for an ED visit.  Patients who are not experiencing life-threatening symptoms are advised to use one of the alternative, less costly testing sites.

To date, Davis Medical Center has performed 204 tests with three patients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. 

For more information about COVID-19 testing at Davis Health System, call the Nurse Hotline at 304.630.3088.

 
4/17/2020 update

Davis Medical Center COVID-19 Drive-Thru Test site to reduce hours

 

Elkins, WV – The Davis Medical Center (DMC) COVID-19 drive-thru pre-screening site will be reducing hours beginning Tuesday, April 21, 2020.  The site will be open Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The reduced hours are due to a decrease in the number of people tested at the location.

“We have seen a steady decrease in demand, however we will adjust the hours as needed or if demand surges,” said DHS Chief Medical Officer Catherine Chua, D.O. “We are directing weekend and after-hours screening to DirectCare of Elkins and the DMC Nurse Hotline at 304.630.3088.”

Davis Health System facilities follow the recommended CDC COVID-19 testing criteria.

Information is also available at the WV COVID-19 hotline number by calling 1.800.887.4304, or by visiting the CDC website www.cdc.gov.

 
 
 
 
4/6/2020 update

Managing chronic disease is critical during a pandemic

ELKINS, WV—“A major concern right now is keeping our chronic disease patients in touch with their providers.  Everyday health problems don’t go away during a pandemic,” said Davis Health System Chief Medical Officer Catherine Chua, D.O.,

When the WV DHHR ordered hospitals to suspend all non-urgent, non-emergent in-person medical encounters, access to outpatient services was dramatically disrupted.  The order’s intent is to provide for the safety of healthcare workers and conserve medical personnel and supplies in anticipation for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.  According to Dr. Chua, people who have chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, lung disease and heart disease, face increased challenges when critical outpatient services are delayed.

“People are withdrawing from healthcare right now because of fears of COVID-19,” said Chua.  “We’ve got to help our most vulnerable populations, the elderly and those with chronic disease, understand the options that are available now to keep them connected with their providers.”

Telemedicine, or virtual visits, are convenient for patients with access to a smart phone, tablet or computer.  Patients schedule a real-time, interactive medical appointment with their provider and can discuss changes in health status, medications, and any concerns they would normally bring up during a face-to-face visit.

          “We can do a lot with telemedicine,” said Johanna Biola, MD, family practitioner at Davis Medical Center.  “My diabetic patients test their blood sugar at home. A virtual visit allows them to easily report their reading to me so I can respond quickly for unusual changes and patterns of blood sugars.”

“Right now, so many things are disrupted,” said Chua.  “It’s more challenging to maintain healthy lifestyles when you are limited in your grocery shopping, exercise, and even social interactions.  Chronic disease management is negatively affected, placing more of our patients at risk.”

“CDC data illustrates how COVID-19 affects people who are already dealing with health challenges.  Those in the high risk groups need to be extremely careful.  Managing your chronic disease could make a difference in terms of improving your outcomes should you contract a virus like COVID-19.”

What can patients do? 

Dr. Chua emphasizes the need for regular communication between the patient and their provider.

“Many people do not realize that they can still see their provider in our physician office clinics.  Chronic disease management is essential healthcare as well as any laboratory and radiology tests your provider may order.”

“People are afraid to come into the clinic and we get that.  Honestly, it’s a much safer and cleaner environment than where they go for groceries, gas and other essential items.  Our housekeeping staff is working around the clock performing deep cleaning, disinfecting and scrubbing the surfaces and areas which could potentially host germs and viruses.”

Further steps to control and maintain a safe environment at DHS facilities includes mandating patients and patient-facing staff to wear masks, limiting points of entry, rapid safe triage of patients, and strict adherence to Infection Control Standards and  Precautions.

“Patients with underlying health problems shouldn’t be put in a position of making judgments about the urgency of their healthcare, or for understanding what constitutes elective medicine.  If you are worried, call us.  We’re here for every patient.”

Step-by-step instructions for downloading and using the MendTelemedicine App can be found on the DHS website https://www.davishealthsystem.org/medical-services/telemedicine.  To schedule a Telemedicine appointment, call the Davis Medical Center Patient Access Center at 304.637.3894.

Medical visits available through Telemedicine include family practice, pediatrics, urology, behavioral health, chronic care management, podiatry, orthopedic, speech pathology, nutrition & diabetes counseling, general surgical, pain management, and obstetrics (limited).

© 2020