COVID-19 outbreak in one nursing home is “alarming” to health department officials

Wetzel County

Wetzel County, W.Va. (WTRF)- Wetzel County has an infection rate of 31.29%, and a positivity rate of 3.82%.

The outbreak that’s largely driving those numbers is in one nursing home, the Genesis New Martinsville Center.


They have 56 residents who have tested positive in addition to 39 staff members, and five residents have now died of COVID 19, according to Karen Cain, administrator of the Wetzel-Tyler Health Department.

“We communicate with that facility daily,” Cain explained. “But the infection prevention protocol is clearly breaking down somewhere.”

Cain, also a registered nurse, said she believes people in general are becoming lax with mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing.

“This (COVID 19) is not going away,” she said. “It is going to be with us for a while, perhaps years.”
She said every community has its challenges in fighting the virus.

She noted that Wetzel and Tyler counties have a lot of gas and oil pipeline workers, and they can be seen going to stores, restaurants and other places without wearing masks.

She said all officials can do is recommend but not mandate. 
In Wetzel County, School Superintendent Ed Toman announced he tested positive and is now isolated.

Wetzel County Schools are all on remote learning this week, and the administrative offices are shut down while employees are tested. 

Testing continues daily in the health department parking lot, with help from the National Guard. 

Tyler County has just turned gold on the advisory map.

Cain says trick or treat is not canceled, but numbers will continue to be studied for what changes may need to take place in the near future. 

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