Coronavirus Update

COVID-19 Update from DHHR
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reports there are no confirmed cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in West Virginia.

As of March 16, 2020, at 4:30 p.m., West Virginia, through its public health lab, has tested 84 residents for COVID-19, with 80 results coming back negative and four tests pending.

Now that COVID-19 testing is expanded and available through commercial laboratories and some hospitals, DHHR is only reporting those tests that have been processed through its state public health lab. All positive results obtained by commercial laboratories are reportable to DHHR and are included in the positive case counts.  

An information hotline to address public and medical provider questions and concerns regarding COVID-19 has been established. Operators are available 24/7, toll-free at 1-800-887-4304 to provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response.

For the most up to date information, please visit or

– – –

COVID-19 update from PMH

Pocahontas Memorial Hospital continues to implement new processes to protect our patients, our staff, and our community from the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Sanitizing stations are located at each entrance of the hospital with signs instructing anyone with a cough, fever or shortness of breath to take a mask and notify staff immediately.

Hospital administration particularly wants to stress that if you have one of these symptoms or suspect that you may have the coronavirus, to please call ahead before presenting at the hospital. This allows our staff to take early steps to protect both our patients and staff from possible infection. As cases begin to appear in our state, our processes will continue to evolve.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of coronavirus cases are quite mild with only flu or cold-like symptoms. Mild cases require no hospitalization and generally are just treated at home with self-care, including plenty of hydration and rest.

Those at most risk are the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. Just as we are advised to take the flu shot each fall to help protect those we love; we must take precautions for this virus the same way. Everyday preventatives to help prevent the spread of this virus as well as any virus and respiratory disease, include:

• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick

• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

• Staying at home when you are sick

• Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash or coughing/sneezing into your inner arm if a tissue is not available

• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe 

• Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

• Using an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not readily available 

For updates to information and guidance, we recommend visiting the CDC’s coronavirus website at /coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

– – –

Pocahontas Center restricts visits

Pocahontas Center Administrator Jud Worth advises that, in light of the serious effects of the COVID-19 virus on the elderly, the center is taking every precaution to protect its residents.

Effective immediately, no social visits will be allowed.

Exceptions will be made on a case by case basis.

Residents may be contacted by calling 304-799-4561, and entering their room extension.

You may also call the center at 304-799-7375 at any time to inquire about your loved ones.

– – –

Meals for students will be distributed during school closure

Ruth A. Bland
Pocahontas County Schools

During this school closure, which is confirmed to be at least until March 27,  we hope to feed every student.  We will be offering free meals for our students at Hillsboro Elementary, Marlinton Elementary and Green Bank Elementary/Middle Schools.  All students are welcome at all three sites.  Breakfast is from 8 to 9 a.m. and lunch will be from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  

All meals will be grab and go. 

This means that you may drive or walk by our schools and a packed meal will be either handed to you or put inside your vehicle. 

In addition, our county buses will be transporting meals midday. 

They will be stopping at their normal bus stops to deliver meals to students. 

Please meet the bus at any of those locations to receive a meal. 

The buses will be running on the 3-hour delay schedule, however, we ask that you be patient for the first delivery until we understand what time the buses pass your stop. 

The bus door will open and a staff member will hand a meal to a receiving parent or student. 

We realize that this is a trying time for all families and it is our wish that our students and families continue to stay safe and healthy during this school closure. 

Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to call your child’s school.  

– – –

Green Bank Observatory update

Michael Hostine
GBO Business Manager

In order to ensure the safety of our staff and the local community the Green Bank Observatory has decided to follow the guidance of State and Federal health officials and suspend activities at the site.

We have instituted a work-from-home policy for the vast majority of our staff and will continue telescope operations, however all educational activities and large meetings are suspended.

Our Science Center is closed for now, but we will be watching the situation closely and hope to return to normal operations very soon.

We certainly hope everyone stays safe and well.

– – –

Great Greenbrier River Race canceled

Brenda Cochran
Race Director

There is no higher priority than the health and safety of our racers, volunteers, spectators and families. As our communities continue to feel the increased impact of the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the race committee has carefully considered the impact of this situation on the Great Greenbrier River Race. After reviewing and carefully considering the recommendations of state and national health officials, and following the latest guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), we have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 GGRR.

We appreciate your understanding of this situation during this unprecedented time across the state, nation and world. Thank you for your unwavering support of the Great Greenbrier River Race over the past 34 years.

All registered participants will have their funds credited to the 2021 race. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please email

We wish each of you and your families well during this challenging time and look forward to seeing you next year for the GGRR.

more recommended stories