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Capito is concerned about coronavirus testing availability, says W.Va. isn’t business as usual

Shelley Moore Capito

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Frustrations about testing availability were among the complaints U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) said she was hearing the most this week as the novel coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, continued to spread in the United States.

“I don’t think we’re over-emphasizing testing at all,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.).

“We need to know how many people actually have it so you can make some kind of calculations as to how deep or how consequential the virus actually is.”

As of Thursday morning, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources was reporting no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Mountain State, one of a shrinking number of states claiming as much.

Dr. Cathy Slemp

“Things are rapidly changing. We will not be surprised to see our first case,” said Dr. Cathy Slemp, state health officer and commissioner for the DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health, while providing an update on Thursday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Capito was a guest on the show earlier after attending a Capitol Hill briefing on the novel coronavirus with Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and others.

She said she took to heart advice from Dr. Fauci.

“Just because we don’t have somebody who’s diagnosed in the State of West Virginia, this is not business as usual and that we should assume that there is something going on and then influence our behaviors,” Sen. Capito said.

WV DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch

“We have to assume that we’re going to get it and I think that’s what we’re doing and you see some precautionary measures being taken already statewide.”

Bill Crouch, DHHR secretary, echoed that.

“This is a virus that is spreading rapidly. That doesn’t mean we need to panic or do anything different. We still need to take precautions,” he said.

On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on a package addressing sick leave, free testing and funding increases for food security programs to provide support to Americans affected in the pandemic.

If approved, the measure would then go to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

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