CHARLESTON, W.Va. A resident at a senior living home in Charleston has tested positive for coronavirus.
A case was confirmed at Brookdale Charleston Gardens Wednesday, prompting a team from the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department and Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority to test all 81 residents beginning Wednesday evening.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we are partnering with CAMC and KCEAA to test residents,” Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Executive Director and Health Officer Dr. Sherri Young said Wednesday evening.
Young said residents showing symptoms will receive priority treatment. She said all residents will be encouraged to isolate themselves until tests results are known.
The tests will be processed at Charleston Area Medical Center.
The announcement of the confirmed case came just hours after Young, Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango held a news conference focusing on increased cases in Kanawha County.
Kanawha County had six confirmed cases at the end of the day Tuesday but the number was expected to spike Wendesday. Charleston Area Medical Center reported 17 positive cases on its website. It’s not know how many of those were from Kanawha County.
Three of the county’s six cases are linked to the Kanawha County Judicial Annex which the county commission ordered closed Tuesday night.
Workers in the annex are being asked to self-isolate through Friday. The last known exposure of the first worker to test positive was March 13.
“If they do develop any symptoms including fever, respiratory illness, do reach out to us,” Young said at the Wednesday news conference. “We’re here to help you. We’re here to help you with testing. We’re here to keep you safe.”
Salango said the number one concern is to protect the public and the employees.
“There is no time frame for the reopening fo the judicial annex. I understand some protocols have been established to test some of the high-risk employees,” Salango said.
Salango, Young and Goodwin all urged residents to abide by Gov. Jim Justice’s the stay-at-home order that went into effect Tuesday night. Goodwin said she saw 25 kids playing tackle football Tuesday evening.
“There’s a reason why I care about each and every one of your children,” Goodwin said. “These numbers that Dr. Young is talking about are going to increase and I fear that they are going to increase rapidly.”
Goodwin called on residents to check their moral compass about who could be hurt by their actions.
“Think about that every single time you gather large groups of people at your home or other places,” Goodwin said.
The West Virginia National Guard is now providing resources to the health department to help with the increase of confirmed coronavirus cases in the county.
The Kanawha County Commission made an official request for the help Wednesday.
“The spike in numbers continues each day. The resources from the Guard are greatly appreciated and we appreciate all they do for our State,” Commission President Kent Carper said.