Washington, DC (WOWK) – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is sharing what he describes as clear and specific social distancing and safety recommendations every West Virginian should implement to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
He says he decided to announce the recommendations after speaking with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“This morning I spoke with Dr. Fauci, a trusted medical expert on COVID-19, about the specifics challenges we are facing here in West Virginia,” Manchin says. “He shared some concrete steps we can take and stressed that the next two weeks are the most critical time to slow the spread of the virus. I want to pass on his recommendations so every West Virginian can do their part to defeat this pandemic. I urge every West Virginian to take these recommendations seriously and stay home as much as possible.”
Anyone older than 60, children, or those with underlying health conditions should stay home. “While this is difficult for us as West Virginians, it means not visiting vulnerable grandparents or having large family gatherings until this threat subsides,” Manchin says.
Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should be able to get a test. However, due to supply chain limitations, he says that is not possible right now.
Manchin says he is in “constant communication with officials to secure more testing for West Virginia.” Until more tests are available, Manches says residents should continue to request a physician’s order for a test.
Manchin says he is advocating for the more than 200 West Virginians who have already contacted him with symptoms and are unable to get a test, or who have not received their test results.
A member of his staff will keep in touch with each person daily until symptoms resolve, they receive a test or receive test results.
Every West Virginian who is able to telework should do so, he says.
For essential services where employers are unable to telework, employers should institute shiftwork to ensure 6 feet of distance between employees at all times.
Anything that would attract groups of visitors should be avoided for at least the next two weeks.
Equipment is in short supply across the country and here in West Virginia. Manchin says he continues to work with federal officials and private industries to get hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, rehab facilities and first responders the equipment they need to do their jobs safely.
“This is also an opportunity for West Virginians, to assist in this effort by making masks for hospitals, health clinics and first responders,” he says.
Food and Supplies
“Supply chain issues will not be a problem,” Manchin says. “West Virginians should go to the grocery store to get what they need. Be respectful and do not hoard food or supplies.”
“Wash 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,” he says. “If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your hands to your face.”