(304) 257-1844

May 27, 2020 Grant County Public Information

By Sandria Glasscock, RN

Public Information Officer

May 26, 2020

Grant County Total:  11 (10 positives, 1 probable) 7 have recovered, and 4 are recuperating at home. 

Grant County had 4 positive cases this week, 1 was reported Thursday and 1 on Friday, and (2 Sunday who were tested as part of a workplace screening out of state). All are at home and following guidance. Contacts have been notified and are being tested. 

WV will now be including probable cases in the number of cases. Probable is a person that has no confirmatory lab test but has symptoms and is a close contact to a confirmed case. 

Grove Street Health Center will conduct community COVID testing on Saturday June 13 from 10 am-4 pm.  This is for anyone, even if no symptoms. Bring ID and insurance cards if you are insured, no copays or deductible. No cost to you if uninsured.  First come, first served. Call Charles Rohrbaugh at 304-897-5915 if questions.  

It is recommended that everyone wear face coverings if in public, especially if you cannot social distance 6 ft away from others.  All businesses that are open are REQUIRED to follow the Governor’s Guidance which outlines social distancing protocol. 

Bowling alleys and public swimming pools may open May 30 following guidance.

Guidance will be provided for Movie Theaters June 5. 

Low contact youth sports (baseball, softball) guidance expected June 8.

If you have unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath or sudden loss of taste or smell please do NOT leave your home. Call Grant Memorial Hospital (304) 257 1026 and press 5 to speak to an ER nurse, or Grove Street Health Center at 304-257-2451 to help determine if testing is indicated.  

If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify dispatch personnel that you may have been exposed or have symptoms of COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive or immediately after they arrive. 

GMH COVID tests    336 specimens sent for testing from Grant and surrounding counties, 15 positives.

Grove Street Health Center: 2 positive tests to date from Grant County.

WV reported   87,811tests   1,854 positive 74 deaths 

Positive/probable COVID19 cases reported to WVDHHR:  Barbour 9/0, Berkeley 280/10, Boone 9/0, Braxton 2/0, Brook 3/0, Cabell 57/2, Calhoun 2/0, Clay 2/0, Fayette 46/0, Gilmer 10/0, Grant 10/1, Greenbrier 9/0, Hampshire 21/0, Hancock 16/2, Hardy 38/0, Harrison 39/1, Jackson 135/0, Jefferson 158/3, Kanawha 213/2, Lewis 5/0, Lincoln 5/0, Logan 16/0, Marion 50/0, Marshall 28/0, Mason 15/0, McDowell 6/0, Mercer 13/0, Mineral 38/2, Mingo 4/1, Monongalia 121/7, Monroe 6/0, Morgan 17/1, Nicholas 10/0, Ohio 40/0, Pendleton 8/1, Pleasants 4/1, Pocahontas 23/1, Preston 17/5, Putnam 33/0, Raleigh 14/1, Randolph 36/0, Ritchie 1/0, Roane 8/0, Summers 1/0, Taylor 8/0, Tyler 3/0, Tucker 4/0, Upshur 6/1, Wayne 97/0, Wetzel 8/0, Wirt 4/0, Wood 50/3 ,Wyoming 3/0. 


YARDSALES ARE PERMITTED with the following:


WE continue to follow the Governor’s executive orders as they are changing daily. We understand that this is confusing. Please, understand that this is new for everyone, and the Governor’s committee is trying to protect the health of all West Virginians.     

Earlier this month, a child protective services call ended in the arrest of two Petersburg residents on drug charges.

Gareth Paul Berg and Robin Urich, of 78 Boardwalk Drive, were arrested for possession of methamphetamine following an investigation while assisting child protective services at their shared residence.

Grant County Sheriff’s deputies were requested at the home to assist after a referral was issued to the protective agency for “deplorable living conditions” where a child resides.

More than 1,500 Grant County residents may be voting from home this election cycle as absentee ballots continue to roll into the Grant County Clerk’s office.

With efforts to maintain social distancing to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the option to vote via absentee ballot has become a unique highlight of the 2020 primary election. Generally reserved for very specific purposes, absentee voting was opened to all residents earlier this year and letters were sent to registered voters asking if they would be interested in signing up for the system.

Those that were interested, were then sent a ballot to fill out and return to the clerk’s office. The clerk’s office tallies all absentee ballots under the West Virginia Secretary of State guidelines to ensure every vote is properly counted.

However, this does not mean the polls with be empty on Election Day.

Larry Allen Lyons, of Moorefield, was sentenced earlier this month to five years’ probation, with the first three months incarceration, for methamphetamine distribution.

Lyons, 55, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine in January.

Lyons admitted to working with others to distribute more than 500 grams of methamphetamine from March 2018 to May 2018 in multiple areas, including Mineral, Grant, and Randolph counties.

Last week, the Grant County Commission addressed confusion around a $100,000 block grant the county had received from the state from the COVID-19 Pandemic County Block Grants.

When Governor Jim Justice first announced the grants in April, he referred to the grants as “Hero Pay” and implied the counties would be given wide discretion on their usage.

“It’s not to backfill their budget or a shortfall in their budget,” Justice said at that time. “This is for the people on the front lines. It could be two workers at the Piggly Wiggly; it could be anyone.”

However, when the Grant County Commission received the funds, they discovered the expenditure of the $100,000 was actually far more limiting.

It has been a unique year for students in the community, with in-facility schooling ending more than three months early this semester. This cancellation also ended all spring sports, including tennis, track, softball and baseball.

One class that has been most effected by these cancellations are the 2020 graduating seniors.

In an effort to support and recognize seniors, local parents have come together and will be holding a senior parade in Petersburg later this week.

The parade will be held on May 28 at 6 p.m.

The route will follow Pine Street, to Virginia Avenue, along Grant Street, to Central Avenue and Rig Street before ending at the Petersburg High School Football Field.

To ensure health and safety, seniors in the parade will remain in their vehicles.

“Please come out and support them,” said Sherry Kisamore, a local parent who is helping to organize the event. “Due to COVID-19 they have missed most of their senior year.”

A zoning board decision has put an end to a proposed luxury campground that would have been located in Petersburg on Hicks Drive.

The decision came after multiple community members attended a meeting hosted by the city council to speak against the project.

The project was proposed by Jeff Raum of Maryland, who hoped to build a “glampground” complete with semi-permanent campsites. Each site would itnclude a private bathroom and shower and would cost visitors approximately $250 a night.

Raum said he believed the project would be a benefit to the community and would encourage tourism in the area as well as promote local businesses. However, for the project to move forward, the planned site would require a rezoning, changing it from an R3 (residential) site to an OS (an open space) site. The board would also have had to permit an exemption with the rezoning to allow the campsite to operate.

During the public meeting, community members who lived in the area attended to speak out against the proposed project, with complaints ranging from the site inhibiting their view of the river, concern over a question of the installation of a new septic system, potential flooding to the site and maintenance of the road.

Last week, the Grant County Board of Education unveiled their plans for the upcoming 2020 graduation event.

Since the closure of schools earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Superintendent Doug Lambert has repeatedly ensured the public the county still plans to host as traditional of a graduation ceremony as possible. This goal was outlined in a plan presented to the state for approval and includes ceremonies at both the Petersburg High School Viking Memorial Field and the Union Educational Complex gymnasium.

According to the plan, PHS will host their ceremony on June 26 at 7 p.m. (with weather make-up plans on June 27 and 28) at the football field and will adhere to all current social distancing, executive orders and health guidelines.

The Grant County Commission announced last week they will be following along with West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s guidelines and would be reopening the county’s parks this week.

This reopening will include the shooting range at Turner Park.

The county also announced they would be re-opening the courthouse to the public effective yesterday.

The guideline for the re-openings come from directives given by Justice earlier this month, in which he outlined a plan to gradually open previously shuttered businesses and agencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the state moves into the third week of the plan, Justice has advised counties to open all: office and government buildings, specialty retail stores, parks, gyms and recreational centers, dine-in restaurants, hotels, casinos, spas and any other remaining small business.

These businesses and agencies will be permitted to reopen over the next three weeks as long as the COVID-19 positive test rate stays below 3 percent.

This leaves the only locations without timelines for reopening as nursing homes and entertainment venues such as movie theaters, sporting events and concerts.

Justice has said entertainment venues will “remain closed for the foreseeable future.”

Included in this reopening is the Grant County Sheriff’s office, which will have regular hours, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

There will be a limit of two people at a time in the office lobby, allowing for one person at each window. If it is at capacity, visitors are asked to wait outside.

“Please bring your tax statements with you for faster service,” the office advised. “With the DMV not opening their offices yet, the sheriff’s tax office will be doing DMV for Grant County residents only. Please have up to date insurance cards with you and registrations completed and filled out on the back. As usual it will be current month, only, Class A Registrations. No trailers, motorcycles, boats or large trucks.”

Late last month, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals passed down an opinion concerning Josh Evans, a man who was convicted of first-degree murder in Grant County.

The petition was filed by Evans’ defense attorneys last year, asking the court to overturn his conviction and sentence.

The case revolved around the murder of Robert “Bobby” Lee Shoemaker of Petersburg, who was struck and killed in a hit-and-run perpetrated by Evans in 2017.

Shoemaker’s body was discovered days later over an embankment off Welton Orchard Road in Petersburg and an investigation quickly pointed to Evans, who was seen driving his damaged truck in the area following the incident. He was subsequently charged with first-degree murder.

The ongoing goal of facility upgrades and improvements was addressed during last week’s Grant County Board of Education meeting.

This need was highlighted later by Suzanne Park, a Grant County resident and a member of the Grant County School Levy Committee.

A Petersburg man is facing charges after he was found passed out in his car in the parking lot of a local business.

On the morning of May 1, Chief Deputy S.L. Wratchford of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department was conducting a routine patrol on Johnson Run Road when he noticed a silver car trespassing in the parking lot of a local business.

When the officer stopped, he noted that the hood of the vehicle was up. Upon investigation, the officer discovered a male driver slumped over and passed out in the vehicle as well as a methamphetamine smoking pipe in plain view.

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