First community spread case of COVID-19 confirmed at Morgantown nursing home

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The case of community spread COVID-19 that prompted Governor Jim Justice to order a statewide “stay home” order occurred a nursing home in Monongalia County.

WAJR News has confirmed a resident at Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“That is tremendously concerning,” Gov. Justice lamented.

According to Monongalia County officials, the resident was taken to Ruby Memorial Hospital early Sunday morning after exhibiting symptoms consistent with COVID-19. That resident is being treated in isolation at Ruby Memorial.

Other residents who had close contact with the patient were quarantined until test results were returned and staff members who had been in contact with the individual were told to self quarantine.

“What was supposed to happen, happened here,” explained state Health Officer Dr. Cathy Slemp.

“As soon as this one was identified, public heath and partners in the community, including the Guard, initiated the investigation, looking to see what else needed to be found,” Slemp said. “You test the other residents, the staff who may have been in contact with the individual. You look to see what is happening in the facility now and reduce any further spread and that happened with minutes of identifying the case.”

Justice said he mobilized the West Virginia National Guard to Morgantown to perform tests on all the residents and staff at the nursing home.

“We quickly provided the testing support for 52 individuals so that the data could go to the lab at WVU Hospitals and could be provided to Dr. Slemp and her team,” said Adjutant General James Hoyer.

Test results are still pending.

Health officials advise that precautions at the nursing home to slow the spread of the virus were implemented on March 12, 10 days prior to the positive test.

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