The Public Health Task Force held a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 9, and reports the following information:
- HEALTH DEPARTMENT. Dr. Morrison reported on the current state of several ongoing public health issues. In terms of COVID, Greenbrier and Monroe are both in moderate risk areas and rising. ER and provider visits are increasing. In terms of swine flu (influenza A), there have been a few people test positive for swine flu who had direct exposure to sick pigs in another part of the state. It appears as if we are out of the infectious window, but surveillance is always in place. The State Fair is doing all the right things out of an abundance of caution. Swine flu exhibits just like the moderate flu symptoms and typically develops 1-3 days after exposure. In terms of monkeypox, there are no cases locally and four in WV so far. The US leads the world in cases currently and cases are expected to increase. There is a vaccine, but it is not readily available.
- STATE FAIR. Kelly Collins reported on efforts to protect public health at the fair. Specifically, they are taking precautions with swine flu. There’s no public access to the pig barns and veterinarians are monitoring their health daily. Hand washing stations have been added for safety. There have been no further cases of swine flu at local fairs recently, but they are still taking precautions to be safe.
- SCHOOLS. Paula McCoy reported that schools are preparing to reopen. Masks are optional. Students who test positive remain out of school for five days and return to school on the sixth day. Then they mask for five days. PPE is readily available.
- OMICRON BOOSTER? We aren’t sure when an omicron-specific booster will be available. Hopefully this fall.
- FLU VACCINES? They will be arriving at providers soon and are readily available.
- INFO ON MONKEYPOX? The CDC website is the best source of info on monkeypox. Visit here: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html
- INFO ON SWINE FLU? The CDC website is the best source of info on swine flu. Visit here: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/index.html
(Summary submitted by Senator Stephen Baldwin on behalf of Julian Levine, WVSOM, and the entire Task Force)