Coronavirus Updates

City and county leaders hold virtual town hall

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – With 162 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one death in West Virginia and at least 31 cases in Kanawha County, many have questions and concerns.

That’s why the City of Charleston and Kanawha County hosted a virtual town hall tonight, bringing officials and resources from across the state. Hoping to answer the questions that matter most to you.

“Hello everyone … ,” Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin says.

In a virtual press conference Tuesday …

” … Thank you so much for joining us,” Goodwin says.

Letters from across Kanawha County and the City of Charleston gathered via video chat to answer your questions.

“We are going to try to answer as many as we can,” Kanawha Commissioner Ben Salango says.

Lots of questions centered on testing … who can and should be tested.

“Before they asked travel association, now we know this is widespread
travel restrictions have been removed,” Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Health Officer Dr. Sherri Young says

As well as the process and availability of those tests.

“Possibility of getting testing done back in hours and minutes … rapid tests
you’ll be able to know before you leave,” U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) says.

Another major topic: Relief for small business owners. Both West Virginia U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito weighing in on federal assistance.

“There absolutely is relief … the bill we passed is two-prong — health and business assistance,” Capito says.

There were also plenty of questions about schools. Specifically when or if Kanawha County students can expect to return to the classroom.

“Cognisant that school may not come back for the end of the year,” Kanawha County Schools Superintendent Ron Duerring says. “Fortunate that we had one to one devices for our kids before.”

Duerring says Kanawha County Schools will continue to operate their lunch program while studnets remain home.

There was also talk about the heroes, including the first responders on the front lined, who have had to make some adjustments in order to keep themselves safe.

“Changed our method as we learned more about the virus, will probably change more,” Assistant Fire Chief David Wagoner says. “This is not your typical disaster that we responded to in past, or last a long time.”

And that can’t be done without personal protection equipment.

“Please we need more testing and we need more ppe for our first responders,” Young says.

United Way was also a part of the conversation today. They say they still look for volunteer for a number of safe projects.

They also offer their 2-1-1 assistance for anyone who may need help.

Now, speaking of volunteering and giving back, the City and county are joining forces again for a blood drive because the Red Cross is in dire need of blood. That will be held at noon, on April 7.

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