Kanawha-Charleston Health Department issues new restrictions under executive order

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A rendering of coronavirus via the CDC.

KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, with the support of the City of Charleston and the Kanawha County Commission, issued new restrictions Sunday in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Kanawha County.

Charleston Mayor Amy Goodwin says the City commends KCHD Health Officer and Executive Director Dr. Sherri Young and is in support of her order today.

“We continue to ask folks to abide by the rules and guidelines set forth by the CDC and the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department in order to help slow the spread of this virus,” she says.

Commissioner Kent Carper added, “I fully support Dr. Young’s order. All of us need to get behind her and stop this virus in its tracks.”

Guidelines for residents include:

  • Stay at home as much as possible. If you must leave, it should only be for essential activities like grocery shopping or picking up prescriptions. Trips should be limited, and people should go when stores are not crowded.
  • People should limit family visits and maintain social distancing. Instead, develop ways of connecting with friends and family without face-to-face contact.
  • Judicial Annex employees who have tested negative should continue isolation for 14 days since their last exposure.

Guidelines for businesses include:

  • Have employees work from home if at all possible. 
  • Limit access to two individuals for every 1,000 square feet of public space.
  • Carefully control access with a strict one-in, one-out policy when the maximum number of patrons is reached. 
  • Require employees and customers maintain a distance of at least six feet.
  • Put down tape strips at entrances and checkout areas or develop some other practical method to ensure distancing. It is important to maintain distancing outside a business as well as limiting access. 
  • Prominently display the number of people allowed at any time along with the fact customers must maintain a distance of at least six feet. This should be displayed at a business’s entrance as well as at four other locations throughout the business.
  • Make hand sanitizer available for customers and employees. Employees must wash their hands often with antibacterial soap and water.
  • Clean surfaces, including doors and countertops, with a hospital-grade disinfectant several times a day.
  • Send home any employee who has symptoms of cough, fever, shortness of breath. 
  • Businesses that use a non-invasive thermometer to measure the temperatures of employees and customers should not admit anyone with a fever of greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Referral to their health care provider is suggested.

Young says officials are grateful to West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice “for the ability to enact new restrictions for businesses and individuals that will help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Kanawha County.”

“We encourage people and business owners to follow this new guidance and reach out to the health department at 304-348-1088 if they have questions,” she says.

“The Commission fully supports the authority of the Chief Health Officer for Kanawha County and the directives she has put into place as a result of the Executive Order issued by the Governor,” Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango added. “The assistance the Health Department will receive from the National Guard for Logistic purposes to further support the needs of our essential businesses and to help with tracking and tracing of positive cases will be of a great benefit.”

See the latest on this developing story tonight at 6 p.m. on 13 News.

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