Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Department of Health
and Human Resources (DHHR) today announced that testing for COVID-19 can
now be performed in-state by DHHR’s Bureau for Public
Health’s lab. Prior to this point,
West Virginia submitted tests of individuals who were
considered at significant risk of having COVID-19 to the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for testing.
ability to test at the state level is a huge step forward that will
allow us to respond even faster to this evolving
situation," Gov. Justice said. “This remains a top priority for
me and for my entire administration. My DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch
continues to join me for weekly calls with the Trump Administration
and we will continue to do everything we possibly can to ensure the safety of
currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia, but this remains an
evolving national situation. As of March 7, 2020, West Virginia
has arranged for the testing of five residents for COVID-19; two
have already come back negative, while three remain pending.
“Our team at
the state public health lab has worked overtime to enable testing right
here in West Virginia,” said Dr. Cathy Slemp, State Health Officer and
Commissioner of the DHHR’s Bureau of Public Health. “As disease continues
to spread domestically, it is essential that we have the necessary resources
to serve the public health response and support our communities."
individual develops symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, or
shortness of breath, and has significant reason to believe they were
exposed to COVID-19 in the two weeks before illness onset (typically
a history of travel from or living in a geographic area
with widespread community transmission or contact with
a known or suspected case), the individual should call their
health care provider, emergency room, or local health department before
seeking care. Contacting the medical provider in advance will make
sure that individuals can get the care they need without putting
others at risk.
anticipate that commercial testing will be available in West
Virginia very soon, as well,” Dr. Slemp said, noting that the
department is also working with commercial labs to assure lab result reporting
to DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “This is critical for
understanding disease surveillance data across the state and for facilitating
appropriate public health action as cases are identified in West
For the most up-to-date
information, please visit coronavirus.wv.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19.