No new positive COVID cases at Metro 911 following building wide testing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Seventy-one employees at the Metro 911 center in Kanawha County have tested negative for COVID-19.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department conducted testing Friday afternoon for all employees at the Bible Center parking lot near Metro after one employee’s test results came back positive earlier that day.

“Out of an abundance of caution because there are so many first responders and this is such an important job that they do, we very quickly put together a plan to test 71 people who had been in the building at the same time this individual had been working,” Dr. Sherri Young, executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Department (KCHD) said.

Young further said the KCHD implemented their much-practiced contact tracing program and in real-time and immediately began working with Metro 911 to determine who had been working with the employee in the 911 Center and the Emergency Operations Center in the past 72 hours.

Co-workers were contacted immediately around 12:30 p.m. Friday and received the nasal swab tests in a drive-thru setting.

Young said the individual that tested positive last week came into work and was measured for a feverish temperature before entering the building, as part of Metro 911’s plan. The employee was sent home and later tested positive for the virus.

“When we do these measures as we are reopening and telling places to check temperatures and make sure you are not symptomatic, this is what kept a much worse outcome from happening at Metro 911. They did everything appropriately,” Young said.

Young said Metro 911 and other county agencies have been proactive with precautions from day one of the pandemic in March and it showed in this situation.