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As the state begins to reopen following nationwide shut-downs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health and recovery programs across the region are now facing a new set of distressing numbers.

According to a report from the Potomac Highlands Guild (PHG), the region has seen more than double the average of drug overdoses following the state’s quarantine.

The Petersburg Volunteer Fire Company received three calls on June 18 to help handle water rescue efforts as kayakers and canoers in the area became overwhelmed with rising waters.

The first call, which came in at approximately 3:15, was dispatched to assist Pendleton County teams with the search and rescue of a kayaker. According to the report, the kayaker was unable to get out of the water at their intended spot and had been washed to an unknown location.

The Grant County Parks and Recreation Department announced plans to host their annual Independence Day parade in Petersburg.

This announcement came after a previous decision in May to cancel all events surrounding the Fourth of July holiday except the annual fireworks display. This cancellation included a concert, which was originally to be hosted a the Petersburg High School football field.

The decision to cancel was due to regulations from the West Virginia governor’s office to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The parade is scheduled for 11 a.m. on July 4, with its route running from the Tri-County Fairgrounds in Petersburg, down Virginia Avenue, to Main Street and ending at the Petersburg City Park.

According to the office, approximately 20 entries have signed up to participate in the parade, down from 40 participants last year.

For more information on the parade or for instructions on how to participate in the parade, contact the Grant County Parks and Recreation Department at 304-257-1725. Lineup will begin at 10 a.m.

The fireworks, which are also scheduled for July 4, are set to begin at 9:30 p.m. near the Petersburg High School football field.

The public is asked to respect social distancing guidelines during both events.

Last week, the Grant County Health Department announced that of the 117 community members who came out to be tested for COVID-19, none returned a positive result.

The tests, which were performed at the Grove Street Health Center, were part of a statewide effort to expand testing amid reopening efforts.

The area’s primary testing site, Grant Memorial Hos- pital (GMH) has performed 667 specimen tests, including not only community members with potential exposure, but also day care workers, athletic coaches and pre-operation screenings. GMH has also tested 266 residents and staff from the Grant Rehabilitation and Care Center.

In her release to the public, Sandria Glasscock, the public information officer with the Grant County Health Department, also warned of a recent outbreak among visitors to Myrtle Beach, a popular vacation spot in South Carolina.

“It is recommended that anyone returning from that area monitor closely for symptoms for 14 days,” Glasscock advised. “If you choose to be tested, do not test before five days after your return. Testing too early can lead to a negative and provide a false sense of security. If any symptoms occur, be tested. Stay home as much as possible and avoid contact with others. If you must go out, social distance by maintaining six feet distance from everyone, and wear a mask.”

Glasscock advises anyone with an unexplained fever, cough, or shortness of breath or sudden loss of taste or smell to not leave their home and call Grant Memorial Hospital at 304-257-1026 and press five to speak to an emergency room nurse, or Grove Street Health Center at 304-257-2451 to help determine if testing is indicated.

June 17, 2020 Grant County Public Information

By Sandria Glasscock, RN

Public Information Officer

June 16, 2020

Initial numbers from the EAHawse community testing indicate 117 were tested from Grant County. Initial reports show no positive tests. Information will be updated when all results are in.

Grant County Total Positive cases:  16: (Total 15 positives, 1 probable) 13 have recovered and 3 cases are recuperating at home. Contacts have been notified and are being monitored and self-quarantining.

(To see the Governor’s full guidance for reopening, go to www.wvgovernor.gov)

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:  600 specimens have been sent for testing from Grant and surrounding counties; these tests include Day Care workers, Athletic Coaches, and Pre-Op screenings.

There have been 19 positives from GMH. GMH also tested 266 residents and staff from GCRCC in April that were all negative.

WV reported   132,446 tests   2,322 positive 88 deaths 

Positive/probable COVID19 cases reported to WVDHHR:  Barbour 10/0, Berkeley 381/18, Boone 18/0, Braxton 3/0, Brook 5/1, Cabell 73/2, Calhoun 2/0, Clay 10/0, Fayette 54/0, Gilmer 10/0, Grant 15/1, Greenbrier 30/0, Hampshire 39/0, Hancock 18/2, Hardy 40/0, Harrison 48/1, Jackson 141/1, Jefferson 207/5, Kanawha 242/7, Lewis 8/0, Lincoln 5/0, Logan 21/0, Marion 51/2, Marshall 34/0, Mason 15/0, McDowell 6/0, Mercer 14/0, Mineral 49/2, Mingo 9/3, Monongalia 130/14, Monroe 8/1, Morgan 18/1, Nicholas 7/0, Ohio 53/0, Pendleton 11/2, Pleasants 3/1, Pocahontas 20/1, Preston 19/5, Putnam 41/0, Raleigh 25/1, Randolph 141/0, Ritchie 2/0, Roane 11/0, Summers 1/0, Taylor 9/1, Tyler 3/0, Tucker 4/0, Upshur 6/1, Wayne 105/0, Wetzel 9/0, Wirt 4/0, Wood 52/4 ,Wyoming 5/0. 

Two men were arrested after leading local officers on a high speed pursuit across the county.

On June 10, Sgt. K.R. Thorne of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a reported domestic violence situation at 19 Myrtle Avenue in Petersburg.

When he arrived, Thorne was informed that two suspects, identified as Matthew Delawder, 36, of Moorefield, and Tyler Crawford, 25, of Petersburg, had just left the residence.

Thorne then located the vehicle driven by the two suspects on Keyser Avenue and attempted to initiate a traffic stop. Upon activation of Thorne’s emergency lights and siren, the suspect vehicle fled, turning off of Keyser Avenue and onto Route 42.

Grant County incumbent falls in Republican commission race


For the first time in nearly two decades, Grant County voters said yes to an excess levy, which will provide additional funding for the county’s schools. Voters took to the polls last Tuesday to cast their ballot on multiple items, including  the Republican candidate for county commissioner and the proposed tax increase. 

The levy, which was called late last year by the Grant County Board of Education, pointed to necessary repairs to the area’s crumbling school facilities and the need for increased safety measures. 

While it may be unlike any before in Grant County, the West Virginia University Extension Office announced last week that they would still be hosting a virtual 4-H camp program.

In the announcement, WVU Extension Director Alexandra Coffman explained that Grant County 4-H is combining with Pendleton County for the first ever “Grant-Pendleton Virtual 4-H Camp”.

Expands program that helps give independence to those with developmental disabilities

It was after a lot of prayer that Lucy Kimble and her husband first decided to consider the Potomac Highlands Guild (PHG) and their residential service program as a living option for their two daughters. The sisters have a rare genetic disorder known as Angelman Syndrome, which causes delayed development, problems with speech and balance, intellectual disability, and sometimes, seizures. While severity of the condition can vary, it can make living alone difficult or even dangerous. This can be a frightening prospect for parents or grandparents of children with developmental disabilities, making planning for their loved one’s future a daunting but very vital task.

This was the reality for Kimble, who said one of her biggest concerns as a mother was for the future of her daughters, knowing she may not always be there to provide for them.

“When I think about the future, it is difficult for a parent to think of not being able to be there for their children, but I want to know they are in a good place.”

During their May 26 meeting, the Grant County Board of Education discussed future plans, including their hopes to host prom, graduation, facility sanitation to fight COVID-19 and what would happen if the schools were required to remain closed next semester.

One topic that has been heavily requested over the past few weeks concerns a potential prom amid the social distancing requirements. Earlier this month, local parent Rachel Moyers, requested the board find a way to provide prom, pointing to parents who had already purchased dresses and tuxedos and the importance of the event to the graduating seniors.

Last week, the West Virginia Attorney General’s office alerted consumers to a text messaging scam that seeks to take advantage of efforts to identify and isolate those who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19.

The scam involves unsolicited text messages from a supposed contact tracer. The scammer may impersonate a state or local health department and urge the text message recipient to click on a link for more information.

Those who click on the phony link expose their phone or other device to malware and the potential theft of sensitive information.

“Scammers never cease to find new ways to steal from consumers,” Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said. “Consumers must remain ever vigilant and protect their personal, identifiable information.

Never click on an unfamiliar link and never share information without verifying who is on the other end.”

The Federal Trade Commission first reported the scam last week. It reports legitimate contact tracers will not ask for Social Security numbers, money or bank account information.

Legitimate contact tracers are hired by state and local health departments. They are tasked with identifying those who have had contact with a confirmed, COVID-19 patient, after which the tracer instructs those individuals to quarantine and keeps a daily check on their symptoms.

Anyone receiving such a text message should contact the health department in question via its legitimate phone number and/or website.

In all instances, the attorney general urges consumers to never click on an unsolicited or suspicious link and never share personally identifiable, financial or otherwise sensitive information without verifying the legitimacy of the would-be recipient. The same goes for never agreeing to send cash, wire money or provide numbers associated with a credit/debit card, gift card or bank account.

Anyone with questions regarding a potential text messaging scam should contact the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368- 8808, the Eastern Panhandle Consumer Protection Office in Martinsburg at 304-267-0239 or visit the office online at www.wvago.gov.

Visitors to the Grant County Courthouses will now be able to see a piece of original artwork by local artist Doug Veach.

Veach presented copies of the painting he created of the Old Grant County Courthouse to the Grant County commission last week.

However, while printing the second copy of the artwork, a unique flaw showed up, placing an unintended rainbow mark directly over the American flag flying in the image. 

Editor - Camille Howard;
News Editor - Erin Camp;
Advertising Manager - Tara Warner Pratt; 
Graphic Designer - Jesse Hedrick;
Print Shop Manager - Richard Knight; 
Bookkeeping - Peggy Hughes;
Circulation - Mary Simmons

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