UPDATE: Preston County Health Department confirms 8 positive cases in out-of-state travel outbreak


UPDATE (6/17/20 6:17 p.m.)

KINGWOOD, W.Va. – The Preston County Health Department has stated that eight individuals have tested positive from the recent trip to Myrtle Beach.

The Health Department’s Administrator V.J. Davis said the county is keeping in touch with infected individuals, reaching out to them on a daily basis and checking on their wellbeing. Another action the county is taking, Davis said, is making an effort to see who the infected individuals have been in contact with, a process known as contact tracing.

“One of the things that I want to stress and that is being in contact with someone, a close contact, means that you have been within six feet of an individual that has tested positive for coronavirus for at least a 15 minute period, that constitutes close contact,” Davis said. “Those are individuals that once we identify them, they are required to quarantine for 14 days from the last time they had exposure to the person. Individuals that test positive are actually required to quarantine and isolate for a period of time.”

Davis said Myrtle Beach is not the only area that proposes a risk to the county. He said any other place that Preston County citizens travel to that have large gatherings also pose a risk.

“We’re really just wanting people to be cautious, not only if they go to Myrtle Beach on vacation, but anywhere you go on vacation where you’re going to be around a large crowd of people. There’s always a chance that you’re going to come in contact with the virus and we just really ask for individuals that when they do travel for vacation and they go to highly populated areas when they come back they make smart decisions.”

Those smart decisions, Davis said, include self-isolating for two weeks after getting back from out of state. Or if that’s not possible, trying to limit contact with the public as much as possible for two weeks.

ORIGINAL (6/17/20 11:20 a.m.)

KINGWOOD, W.Va. – The Preston County Health Department has announced that it is in the process of investigating an outbreak among residents in the county that has been linked to recent trips to Myrtle Beach.

A post from the health department’s Facebook page stated that so far, three individuals have tested positive for COVID-19. The post also said that tests are pending on other individuals and health officials would not be surprised to have additional positive cases in the coming days.

The post said that the health department has discovered that the three cases that have been confirmed so far have been linked to recent trips to Myrtle Beach. Health officials said that vacations/trips to crowded areas such as beaches are very risky due to the amount of people and the difficulty to social distance.

Health officials are also asking Preston County residents that have traveled to Myrtle Beach, any other beach, or any crowded vacation destination in the last two weeks to please keep others in mind and self quarantine for 14 days upon return. Officials said that if self quarantine is not possible, residents are instead being asked to please limit their exposure to others to a bare minimum and wear a face covering/mask when in public or around other people.

The post said that any people who have any questions regarding travel back from vacation destinations can call the Preston County Health Department at (304) 329-0096 and health officials will help them determine rather they need to get tested or not. Additionally, the post said that anyone with with any cold or flu symptoms is being asked to contact Preston Memorial Hospital at (304) 329-7285 to discuss testing.

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