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Preston County Health Department warns commissioners that COVID-19 is in the community

KINGWOOD — Preston County residents have comforted themselves with the thought the county’s COVID-19 cases were travel related.

“We need to stop kidding ourselves. It is in our communities. It literally could be anywhere we go,” Preston County Health Department Administrator V.J. Davis told the Preston County Commission Tuesday evening. Earlier this week, Preston noted the second death in the county of a COVID-19 victim.

There are many asymptomatic people walking around, Davis said. Wearing a mask “is the easiest thing we can do to keep it from spreading from person to person,” Davis said.

It seems the predicted bump in the number of cases after Memorial Day weekend hasn’t come — yet — he noted. “But we cannot let our guard down.”

Commission President Samantha Stone urged any organization planning an even to consult the county health department in advance for guidance on the safest way to hold it.

In other discussions, commissioners:

-contracted with Deberry Snow Plowing and Mowing to mow at county properties, at a cost of $590 per week, while the employee who usually does the work is on medically ordered light duty.

-said they continue to contact the state Division of Highways (DOH) about road complaints.

-agreed to send a letter to the DOH, inquiring about progress on a Terra Alta bridge over the railroad that has been closed three years. The newspaper reported on Saturday that CSX said the DOH is taking the lead in the work.

-renewed its contract with Bri-Ton Heating and Cooling for $11,750 a year in the new fiscal year.

-renewed its contract with IT Mindshare in the 2020-2021 fiscal year for $4,076 per month.

-approved liability and Worker’s Compensation insurance coverage for county workers in fiscal year 2020-2021 at a cost of $223,297.

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