With any pandemic or catastrophe can come confusion, questions, fear and mayhem. Local EMS and partners are working overtime to keep Craig County in a state of awareness and safety attack.
The Craig County COVID-19 teams consists of # people: Emergency Manager Dan Collins, Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Cady Sr., Infectious Control Officers Darryl Humphreys and Mike Jones, Financial Accounting/Business/Citizen assistance and Economic Recovery Officer Kermit Daniel, Exposure Records and Patient Outcome Documentation Officer Heather Matheney and IT Assistants, Philip Bishop and Trace Bellassai.
Jim Cady, the County’s emergency services coordinator, said, “Our fantastic County partners include Craig County School system, Craig’s Sheriff’s Office, Craig’s Health Care Center, Craig’s Department of Social Services and the New Castle Record.”
“We have reached a point in preparations that we think we have done most of what we can to prepare,” Cady noted. “We are switching to a mode of sustainability and prevention. Our other County departments are assisting us, as this is a combined fight. The cooperation has been great.”
Cady also added that PPE is still a major concern for the County. While they currently have enough, Cady said they are “dangerously low in some categories.”
“We have had a very busy week trying to stay ahead of this virus,” he said. “State and federal help with this is not very promising.”
Within the next week, the teams hope to implement some new and unusual community-wide prevention measures. “Chief Humphreys is looking at other possible ways to reduce community spread,” Cady added.
As of April 5, the confirmed cases in the U.S. are 325,185, and total deaths have reached 9,267. Still, President Trump warns of a devastating week ahead, saying, “There will be a lot of death.”
Cady also shared that after several people stated that they knew of a confirmed case in Craig County, someone then came forward and provided information. “This allowed us to investigate the validity of those claims and we did find one person that has tested positive for the coronavirus,” he said. “That person was tested outside of Craig County but does reside within the County. Per our conversations, they have followed the VDH recommendations to self-isolate at home. The person was very cooperative to our questions and recommendations.”
As of Saturday evening, there are two other cases reported from VDH. “One is still in isolation,” Cady confirmed. “I called him, and he confirmed he tested positive about three weeks ago, was isolated for 14 days, was cleared and released six days ago.”
Cady noted that, at this time, they are working with VDH to improve notification of confirmed cases. “No additional confirmed cases have been identified, however, a few individuals of have been tested. We will continue to track the coronavirus activity in the County and update this site as more information is provided.”
Cady had a new Emergency Services Webpage created to help keep citizens tuned into immediate emergency changes as well as an avenue to communicate with the EMS department concerning citizen’s questions. Everyone is encouraged to regularly visit https://craigcountyva.gov/coronavisus-covid-19-information-2/.
It has been suggested that people ‘Build A Firewall’ for themselves which means washing their hands often and avoid touching the face. Wiping down countertops, light switches, doorknobs and keyboards with disinfectant wipes also helps reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19.
Added Cady, “Stay safe by staying home if you can. Eat good meals, drink plenty of fluids and enjoy your family. Use all precautionary measures if you have to go to work, the Doctor’s office or to a store. Vanity is not an issue in these times so wear your mask and gloves and take your disinfectant wipes with you. Then smile and pray for this to be over soon.”