KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) — On Wednesday, the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department (KCHD) announced Kanawha County reached 50,000 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Dr. Steven Eshenaur, KCHD Health Officer and Executive Director, said the health department is concerned about the persistence of COVID-19 in local communities.

“Each of these cases represents a person whose life has been altered by this disease,” Dr. Eshenaur said. “We must not forget the faces of COVID or the impact it has made on our county.”

Eshenaur said vaccination is the best COVID-19 defense. The health department, located at 108 Lee Street in Charleston, gives walk-in COVID-19 vaccines and tests Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Home antigen rapid tests are also available at the health department and through the federal government.

First booster shots are available for people ages five and older who received their initial dose over five months ago (two months for adults who had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine). Second boosters are available for adults ages 50 and older or 12 and older for people who are immunocompromised. Second boosters can be given at least four months after the first booster.

For more information on testing, vaccines or other public health services, visit the KCHA website or call the health department at (304) 348-8080.