Healthcare, Latest News, Preston County

Preston Commission learns COVID cases on decline in county

KINGWOOD – COVID cases are declining in Preston County. Preston Health Department Director V.J. Davis said only 32 cases have been reported in the past seven days.

“A few months ago we were getting 32 cases a day,” Davis said.  He said active cases are also down.

Davis said to date 20%, or 6,906, county residents have been vaccinated in the past three months. He said 440-plus people are scheduled to receive their first vaccination Thursday, and 228 are scheduled to receive their second stick Friday.

In a letter to the commission Davis wrote: “I am writing on behalf of the Preston County Health Department. We would like to request support funding for Fiscal Year 2022 in the amount of $23,057 in addition to office space and utilities in our current location.”

The Commission eliminated the $23,057 funds in their 2020-21 budget, but continued to supply the Health Department with free office space, utilities and other support.

In other business, KAMP Ambulance will continue coverage of the southern end of the county following the closing of Mountaineer Ambulance.

KAMP  has been covering Mountaineer’s runs since October. The decision to do this was made during a special session to get input from the representatives of the six remaining ambulance squads after D. Rolland Jennings indicated Mountaineer Ambulance was unable to function as an EMS agency to cover its designated area.

Pamela Thomas, president of KAMP Central Ambulance, told commissioners KAMP has covered the area for several years, and is able to have a crew in the area.

“We have been working closely with the town of Newburg and are awaiting the commission’s decision on this becoming a permanent station,” Thomas wrote in a letter to commissioners.

She said the ambulance service is currently working out of two buildings. The crew is housed in the senior center and the truck in the water office.

“It’s less than ideal but if given territory on a permanent basis we will be able to go forward with plans to occupy one space,” she said.

Thomas said KAMP currently has crews at the Newburg station on a daily basis from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., with 24-hour weekend coverage  from Friday evening to Sunday evening. She said a paid crew is not in the building from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. The truck is still available for crew members who live in the area to come in and take calls.

Thomas said KAMP  is holding EMT classes in April. She said jobs will be available for students who complete the classes.

County Administrator Kathy Mace said the county has $7,000 to help with payment for the classes.

Commission President Don Smith told Thomas they would provide the letter she needs to go forward with plans to make KAMP a long term service for the Mountaineer Ambulance area.