Government, Latest News, Preston County

Preston County government offices continue COVID prevention practices

KINGWOOD — Preston County government buildings are open to walk-in traffic again, but officials stress face coverings, social distancing, making appointments and doing business online.

County Administrator Kathy Mace told the county commission the surge of COVID-19 continues and Preston had 25 COVID-related deaths as of Monday — more than Monongalia County at the time.

She reminded everyone that masks, hand washing and social distancing are the best protections against the virus and praised the Preston County Health Department for its work during the crisis.

“The health department — and I witness it every day — they are working seven days a week nearly around the clock,” Mace said.

“It’s a big job and I just want to say that everybody in Preston County should appreciate the work being done by the Preston County Health Department, along with all the health care workers in Preston County,” she said.

There was some good news, too, Mace said: “The ventilators we have been waiting for are here.”

The four ventilators are being purchased with CARES Act money. They will be placed at Mon Health Preston Memorial Hospital.

Mace said Preston Assistant Office of Emergency Management/911 Director Justin Wolfe was instrumental in getting the machines, along with representatives of the governor’s office and Congressman David McKinley’s office.

She also thanked county custodians for their work deep cleaning the buildings while also dealing with snow removal. The City of Kingwood also got her thanks for cleaning snow from in front of the annex.

Also Tuesday commissioners:

  • expressed condolences to the family of Nimrod Riley, who died Dec. 16. Riley, 61, a former county commissioner and director of the Preston County Office of Emergency Management, also held many positions within the Reedsville Volunteer Fire Department, where he was a lifetime member and served most recently as president.
  • approved Preston OEM/911’s application for a $27,000 Homeland Security grant.
  • heard an email shared by Commission President Samantha Stone about a resident’s positive experience with Preston 911 during a medical emergency.

Many good things are happening, Stone said, but we are more likely to hear about the negative ones. Preston 911 is one of the best in the state, she said.

  • were told by Mace that demolition of an old building on the McGrew House property has been delayed by weather. Work continues on the roof replacement and other work at the animal shelter.