First death outside of a long-term care facility reported

Health department workers conduct drive-up COVID-19 testing three days each week. Call the health department to make an appointment.

Lewis County Health Director Anita Bertram said the county’s first death outside of a long-term care facility occurred Saturday.

Bertram said the 54-year-old male’s death has been classified as COVID related, adding there were associated comorbidities.

She said she is currently seeing a spike in positive Lewis County cases with 11 new cases of COVID-19 reported to her office by Noon Monday.

Bertram said Lewis County is now at 286 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 36 of those currently active. Those numbers, she said, are continuing to increase.

With trick-or-treat activities planned for Saturday in Vanceburg and Lewis County, Bertram says she is concerned about safety.

“At this time I do not recommend gathering in groups or door-to-door trick-or-treating in light of the increased number of positive cases we are seeing,” Bertram said.

Bertram said she has been in regular discussions with health department directors in the area.

“We have discussed how important it is, especially now, for folks to follow the safe trick-or-treat guidelines adopted by the state,” she said.

“We want people to consider safety and wellness with our increasing numbers. Now is not the time to plan group activities outside of your family. We must practice social distancing, and do not trick-or-treat door-to-door,” Bertram stated.

She also urges everyone to wear masks in public, and wash our hands frequently.

She urges those who are sick or have symptoms to stay home and avoid contact with others.

Local coronavirus testing is for anyone age 18 and older and is available by appointment at the Lewis County Health Department three days a week. There is no charge for the test.

Those younger than 18 should consult a physician or call the health department for information about being tested.

COVID-19 testing by appointment is available Monday, Tuesday, and Friday afternoons from 2:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.

To make an appointment to be tested, or for more information, call the Lewis County Health Department at 606-796-2632.

Bertram said there are 14 COVID-19 related deaths who were all residents of Vanceburg Rehabilitation and Care. Saturday’s death brings the total for the county to 15.

Details about the individuals will not be provided because of medical privacy laws.

Lewis County’s first confirmed case was reported on March 25.

Lewis County residents may dial 606-202-8600 for more information on COVID-19 or to schedule a test. The state hotline is 800-722-5725.

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