CHARLESTON — State health officials have confirmed at least 17 cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 at a church in Greenbrier County, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
The West Virginia National Guard will go to the church — whose name and location were not disclosed — today to begin decontamination. The National Guard is working with officials from DHHR and the Greenbrier County Health Department to contain the outbreak.
Staffers from the Greenbrier County Health Department are working with church officials to carry out a contact tracing regimen. The church will be closed for 14 days to allow crews to conduct environmental cleaning by the National Guard.
“I want to strongly encourage all West Virginians, especially when in church settings, to follow the guidelines and use every other pew, maintain social distancing, and please wear masks,” Gov. Justice said. “A lot of the attendance at our churches are those that are elderly and at higher risk, so we are cautioning everyone to strictly follow our guidelines. As I have said many times, we will have stormy seas before we get a vaccine, so it is imperative that we strictly follow the guidelines or the seas will only get rougher.”
The West Virginia National Guard and DHHR are collaborating with the Greenbrier County Health Department to host two additional free testing events today and Monday, June 14, in Greenbrier County at Dorie Miller Park in Lewisburg from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
“I encourage anyone that has any level of concern to come and be tested,” Justice said.
“There are several key lessons to be learned from these outbreaks. Practicing good prevention measures do make a difference, such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart and using good hygiene,” said Dr. Cathy Slemp, state health officer and commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “Out of state travel can be a risk and precautions should be taken upon return to West Virginia. Finally, please stay home from work or other community events if you are not feeling well.”
The other counties that have experienced outbreaks in churches are Boone, Hampshire, Jefferson, and Marshall counties. To protect the possibility of identifying individuals, the churches will not be named by DHHR.
As of 5 p.m., June 13, there have been 129,724 total confirmed lab results received for COVID-19, with 2,274 total cases and 88 deaths.
Cases per county: (Case confirmed by lab test/Probable case): Barbour (10/0), Berkeley (369/17), Boone (17/0), Braxton (3/0), Brooke (4/1), Cabell (69/2), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (10/0), Fayette (54/0), Gilmer (10/0), Grant (15/1), Greenbrier (13/0), Hampshire (39/0), Hancock (18/2), Hardy (40/0), Harrison (45/1), Jackson (141/0), Jefferson (202/5), Kanawha (238/7), Lewis (8/0), Lincoln (5/0), Logan (21/0), Marion (52/2), Marshall (37/1), Mason (15/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (14/0), Mineral (49/2), Mingo (9/3), Monongalia (129/14), Monroe (8/1), Morgan (18/1), Nicholas (7/0), Ohio (54/0), Pendleton (11/2), Pleasants (3/1), Pocahontas (20/1), Preston (19/5), Putnam (41/1), Raleigh (22/1), Randolph (141/0), Ritchie (2/0), Roane (10/0), Summers (1/0), Taylor (9/1), Tucker (5/0), Tyler (3/0), Upshur (6/1), Wayne (104/0), Wetzel (9/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (52/3), Wyoming (5/0).