Young urges caution during Thanksgiving holiday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department with the assistance of the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority administered approximately 2,500 COVID-19 tests during Operation Drumstick that wrapped up Thursday afternoon in Charleston.

KCHD Executive Director Dr. Sherri Young said they wanted to give residents the opportunity to be tested before the Thanksgiving holiday. Young is urging families to keep their gatherings small.

“I perfectly understand that people want to be around their families. I understand that people around the holidays need to see their families but you have to think about it in terms of how to keep your families safe.”

Young said that’s by wearing a mask, following social distancing guidelines and washing your hands.

She said Kanawha County has seen an increase in cases following each holiday that’s taken place during the pandemic. She said this is the first time cases have already been on the increase before a holiday.

“We’re starting to see 80s, 90s and 100s (cases a day) when we were only 20s and 30s for a period of time,” Young said. “When our active case count is going up plus the numbers we are seeing, that’s alarming going into a major holiday.

Young said families should follow CDC recommended guidelines for holiday gatherings.

No drive-thru testing events are scheduled for next week. There will be some tests offered at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Young said drive-thru events will return the week after Thanksgiving with some special evening testing hours for teachers and others who are occupied during the work day.