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Preston agencies report on actions during pandemic

KINGWOOD — A number of Preston County agencies reported Monday on what they are doing in response to the coronavirus.

The reports were made at a session sponsored by the Preston County Health Department on having a coordinated, planned response.

Preston Schools

In the wake of the closure of all county schools in the state, Preston Superintendent Steve Wotring said teachers are working to get an online curriculum created. There’s also a plan to get paper packets to students without internet access.

About 2,500 meals are typically served a day. This week parents should contact schools to find when they can go to schools, where meals will be brought outside for pickup.

“Starting next week, our buses will begin running their regular runs and we’ll drop off meals to kids at their homes, as well as instructional materials,” Wotring said.

The meals and materials will be given out at the regular bus stops. County Health Officer Dr. Fred Conley suggested keeping six feet between drivers and those making the pickup, maybe at the back of the bus.

Law enforcement

State Police Kingwood Detachment Commander John Wyatt and Preston Sheriff Dan Loughrie said officers will be doing fewer road patrols but take on other duties as needed, as they do in floods or snowstorms.

“If you have an issue where medicine needs delivered, food needs delivered, the school system needs something, my men can help with that,” Wyatt said.

Buckwheat Express and Preston Senior Citizens

Director Janie Lou White said more than 200 meals are served daily between the seven senior centers and home delivered meals. The centers are now open for meals only, she said, but that could change Wednesday.

They are preparing to provide 14-15 days of shelf stable meals available to homebound seniors and hopefully for those who use the centers.

“We have the potential to contact 1,000 people a day if we use every single employee to do so, but we could use a lot of volunteers,” White said. The aim is to make sure people are safe and healthy and catch problems early.

Buckwheat Express buses will continue to run.

County offices

County Administrator Kathy Mace said extra cleaning is being done in county buildings.

ChalleNGe Academy

Cadets are not going home, and visitation is limited. The academy is limiting its community service, too.

Camp Dawson

Nonessential training is being delayed three to four weeks. An individual at the camp for training was informed March 8 he or she may have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19. The individual returned home for self-quarantine and as of Friday had cleared the protocol, according to the camp’s representative.

The Guard is preparing in case it is called up.

U.S. Prisons

All inmate transfers have been halted. All visitation has been stopped for 30 days, and all outside and onsite training has been stopped.

City of Kingwood

The Craig Civic Center has canceled all large gatherings, and the city urges people to use the drive-through at city hall to pay water, sewage and garbage bills.

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