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Gilmer County PSD Boil Advisory Has Been Lifted

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The boil water advisory issued by the Gilmer County PSD for Dusk Camp, Industrial Park, Barkers Drive and Starlins Drive has been lifted.

WVDEP Accepting Photo Entries for Roadsides in Bloom Calendar

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) is accepting photo entries to appear in the 2017 edition of the Operation Wildflower “Roadsides in Bloom” calendar. The deadline to enter photos in the contest is October 01, 2016. The contest is a joint project of the WVDEP and West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT).

There are several requirements that must be met for the entry to be accepted. 

        - Photographs must be taken in West Virginia. 

        - Entries must be submitted as 8"x10” color prints and must be landscape orientation (portrait orientation will not be accepted). Each entry must also include a digital copy on a CD, DVD or flash drive submitted with the color print. 

        - Flowers must be growing along a road and the road must be prominently visible in the photo. The flowers may be growing naturally or in an Operation Wildflower bed planted by the WVDOT’s Division of Highways staff. Pictures of cultivated species planted in arranged beds, such as marigolds, pansies, etc., do not qualify. 

        - Name, address, phone number and e-mail address (if applicable) of entrant and a short description of the photo, including location and county where photo was taken, must appear in the upper left hand corner on the back of the photo. Photos become property of the WVDEP and will not be returned. 

        - No more than three entries per person will be accepted. However, only one winning photo will be selected from any photographer’s entries. 
 
        - 12 winners will be selected to represent the months of the year. A grand prize winner will be chosen to appear on the calendar cover.

To see the 2016 Roadsides in Bloom calendar, click here: http://www.dep.wv.gov/dlr/reap/ow/Documents/Roadsides%20in%20Bloom%202016%20Calendar.pdf.

Entries for the 2017 calendar contest should be mailed to:

WV Operation Wildflower
Roadsides in Bloom Calendar Contest
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection/REAP
601 57th Street, S.E.
Charleston, WV 25304

For more DEP news and information, go to www.dep.wv.gov. Also, be sure to connect with the agency on all social media platforms. Follow @DEPWV on Twitter and find us on YouTube by searching “Environment Matters.” For specific information about our REAP (Rehabilitation Environmental Action Plan), West Virginia Project WET (Water Education for Teachers), West Virginia Watershed Improvement Branch, Youth Environmental Program and Human Resources initiatives, connect on Facebook.

Zika Virus Response Planning: Interim Guidance for Schools

The Free Press WV

Summary

What is already known about this topic?


Zika virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. Zika virus is not transmitted directly from one person to another through casual contact. There is no evidence that risk for transmission on school properties will be higher than in other areas of the local community.



What is added by this report?


If suspected or confirmed Zika virus infection occurs in a student or staff member, schools should continue to prioritize strategies to prevent mosquito bites on school grounds, to prevent further transmission through infected mosquitoes. Because Zika virus is not transmitted from person to person by casual contact, it is not necessary to issue a schoolwide notification, and students or staff members with travel-related Zika virus exposure or confirmed Zika virus infection do not need to be removed from school. Isolation of persons with Zika virus disease or quarantine of exposed persons is neither recommended nor appropriate. Schools should maintain privacy and nondiscrimination protections for all students and employees. In the case of local Zika virus transmission, it is not necessary to cancel school-related activities.



What are the implications for public health practice?


School, local, and public health authorities should work together to implement mosquito control activities and mosquito bite prevention measures in schools to decrease risk of Zika virus transmission, to apply appropriate policies for educating students and staff members, and for continuation of school operations.


                             

CDC has developed interim guidance for kindergarten through grade 12 (K–12) district and school administrators for public health actions pertaining to Zika virus infection. This guidance is intended to address concerns about the risk for Zika virus infection in K–12 schools in the continental United States and Hawaii, provide school districts with information for planning school-related activities, and recommend actions that can be taken, in consultation with local public health authorities and government officials, to reduce the potential risk for Zika virus transmission on school premises and among students. This guidance provides an overview of the potential roles and responsibilities of public health authorities and school officials, describes prevention measures that schools can take to reduce mosquito exposure, and provides information on responding to a case of travel-associated Zika virus infection or confirmed local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus (See Key Points). Considerations for child care, camp, and higher education settings also are addressed. This guidance will be updated as needed when new information becomes available. The latest available Zika virus information, including answers to commonly asked questions, can be found online. Related relevant resources are summarized in Additional Resources below.


General Information about Zika Virus

Since 2007, Zika virus disease outbreaks have been reported in the South Pacific, and since 2015, Zika virus has rapidly spread in the Western Hemisphere.1,2 Zika virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes.3 Mosquitoes become infected when they consume blood from a person infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other persons through bites. Direct human-to-human transmission of Zika virus can occur through sexual contact and from a pregnant woman to her fetus.4,5 Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly.5 Zika virus is not transmitted directly from one person to another through casual contact.

The signs and symptoms of Zika virus infection in children are similar to those in adults.6 Most persons infected with Zika virus will not have symptoms; among those who do become ill, the most common signs and symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis, and these usually occur within a week of infection.6 The illness is typically mild, with symptoms lasting for several days to a week. Most children and adults infected with Zika virus do not become ill enough to seek medical care or require hospitalization, and death from Zika virus infection is rare. Cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare autoimmune condition manifested by muscle weakness (occasionally leading to temporary paralysis), have been reported among persons who have had Zika virus infection. 7 It is not known how often Guillain-Barré syndrome has occurred in children after Zika virus infection. There is currently no vaccine or specific drug to prevent or treat Zika virus infection.

Zika virus infection in childhood has not currently been linked to developmental delays or impaired growth. Because symptoms of Zika virus disease are similar to symptoms of other viral infections that commonly occur among school children, as well as less common infections such as measles, it is important that educators remain vigilant in recognizing signs and symptoms of more easily transmissible infections while planning specific interventions related to Zika virus disease.

As of July 12, 2016, no local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus has been reported in the continental United States or Hawaii, although travel-associated cases, including travel-associated sexually transmitted cases, have been reported.8 In light of the ongoing outbreak in the Region of the Americas and Pacific Islands, the number of Zika virus disease cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States likely will increase. These imported cases could result in local transmission of the virus in some areas of the United States where the Aedes species mosquitoes that can transmit Zika virus can be found.3,9 However, there is no evidence that risk for transmission on school properties will be higher than in other areas of the local community.


Roles and Responsibilities of School Officials and Public Health Authorities

Public health authorities play a pivotal role in identifying the risk for Zika virus exposure in different settings and providing advice on actions to reduce the risk. Schools, functioning both as educational settings and as employers, have a critical role in sharing information from public health authorities, as well as in addressing concerns and questions raised by students, families, and staff members about Zika virus, and implementing public health authorities’ recommendations for schools in a timely fashion. School administrators should understand the roles and responsibilities of public health authorities and consult with them regarding questions or issues related to Zika virus infection.

Public health authorities and school districts should proactively and collaboratively establish direct communication channels and clearly define each partner’s roles and responsibilities. Initial efforts should include identifying points of contact for communication and developing protocols for implementing public health recommendations. School authorities, working collaboratively with local public health authorities, should review and ensure compliance with public health codes and applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards, including OSHA guidance for protecting workers from occupational exposure to Zika virus.10 OSHA recommends that employers provide insect repellents for outdoor workers and consider modifying work responsibilities, if requested by the employee, of women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant, and men who have a sexual partner who is pregnant or might become pregnant.10


Planning for Possible Zika Virus Transmission in K–12 Schools

Outside of their homes, children and adolescents spend much of their time at school. Accordingly, district and school administrators play an important role in efforts to prevent possible Zika virus transmission among students and their families, particularly in schools that open their facilities to the community for events, extracurricular programs, and recreational use.

Prevention of mosquito bites through an integrated vector management plan is of paramount importance for avoiding Zika virus infections.11 Schools can help to reduce risk for students, families, and the community by implementing mosquito control measures on school grounds, such as identifying and removing sources of standing water that can serve as mosquito breeding sites. Common sources on school grounds can include buckets, trash cans, planters, tires, tall grasses, playground equipment, and spaces beneath temporary modular structures. Adjustments can be made to ensure these do not become mosquito breeding areas, including regularly cleaning, turning over, tightly covering, or completely removing (if appropriate) these sources; sweeping away pools of water; and keeping all grassy areas mowed (including less-traveled and hard-to-access areas such as under bleachers). In addition, efforts should be made to prevent mosquitoes from entering classrooms by placing new screens or replacing damaged screens in windows and doors, or by using air conditioning when available.

The use of other methods of mosquito control in a school or community, including insecticide spraying, is decided upon by the local and state jurisdictions. The public health and school partnership can work with local government officials to learn which approaches are available and appropriate to prevent transmission of Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses, such as West Nile, dengue, and chikungunya.12 If presence of mosquitoes at a school appears to remain high despite taking recommended steps, including removing sources of standing water, this might indicate unrecognized breeding sites, which can be a considerable source of mosquitoes. Local mosquito control authorities or licensed pest control contractors should be contacted to facilitate remediation.

When possible, students, staff members, and family members participating in outdoor activities in areas with mosquito activity should be advised to follow CDC Zika virus prevention guidelines, including wearing long pants and sleeves and using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency–registered insect repellents, all of which are considered safe for school-aged children and pregnant women.13,14 Schools should review and, if necessary, update their policies regarding student possession and application of insect repellent, and inform students, their caregivers, and staff members of updated plans or policies. Administrators might also need to consider logistical issues involved, including purchasing responsibilities for repellents and the processes for applying them to large groups of children when necessary. Schools should consider risk for potential exposure to mosquito-borne diseases when planning field trips and other school-sponsored travel. Although the mosquitoes that transmit Zika virus are more active during the day, they can bite and spread infection at any time.13 If travel outside the continental United States and Hawaii is planned, risk for exposure to Zika virus might exist. CDC’s Travel Information website includes information about the current Zika virus situation in specific countries.15

Zika virus can also be transmitted sexually.4 Nationwide, 41% of high school–aged students report having had sexual intercourse at least once.16 Therefore, age-appropriate sexual health education should include information regarding the risk for Zika virus during pregnancy and the potential for sexual transmission of Zika virus, including that correct and consistent condom use can reduce the likelihood of sexual transmission of Zika virus, other sexually transmitted infections, and unintentional pregnancy, and that abstinence can eliminate these risks.4,17


Responding to a Case of Zika Virus Infection in K–12 Schools

While planning for possible cases of Zika virus infection in schools, educators should maintain provision of a safe, consistent, and effective learning environment. If a case of Zika virus infection is suspected or confirmed in a student or staff member, schools should continue to prioritize strategies to prevent mosquito bites on school grounds, to prevent further transmission through infected mosquitoes. Administrators, educators, and school health professionals can disseminate accurate Zika virus information to students and families, and prevent stigma related to perception of a student’s risk for Zika virus through efforts such as dispelling of myths and ensuring no particular students or groups are targeted for social exclusion.

In the event of a case of Zika virus disease in a student or staff member at a K–12 school, medical privacy and confidentiality should be maintained. Because Zika virus is not transmitted from person to person by casual contact, it is not necessary to issue a schoolwide notification, and students or staff members with travel-related Zika virus exposure or confirmed Zika virus infection do not need to be removed from school. Isolation of persons with Zika virus disease or quarantine of exposed persons is neither recommended nor appropriate. Patients with symptomatic illness should receive appropriate supportive medical management.

Children with fever or symptoms that might be associated with Zika virus infection, including rash, conjunctivitis, or joint pain, should be managed according to school illness policies, regardless of potential for Zika virus infection.18 School nurses and other staff members should continue to adhere to OSHA bloodborne pathogen standard precautions for any potential body fluid contact in the course of their duties.19


Responding to Mosquito-Borne Transmission of Zika Virus in the Local Area

If local mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus occurs, state and local jurisdictions and public health authorities will inform school districts of the range of the affected areas, provide recommendations based on cases reported in the local community, and guide schools and school districts in the implementation of enhanced measures, if required.12 This might include providing options, if requested by the employee, to limit outdoor duties or activities of students and staff members who are pregnant, who might be pregnant, or who are trying to conceive. While implementing these measures, schools should continue to maintain privacy and nondiscrimination protections for all students and employees. Zika virus testing might be offered by health authorities for pregnant staff members and students, and for persons exhibiting symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease.20

School administrators, in close coordination with local officials, will need to consider local factors, such as climate, landscape of school grounds and their surroundings, and proximity of Zika virus transmission to the school, to determine what additional measures to undertake.12 It is not necessary to suspend or cancel classes (including physical education classes), outdoor recess or outdoor activities, outdoor sporting events, or extracurricular activities.


Considerations for Child Care, Camp, and Higher Education Settings

In addition to schools, locations where children and adolescents routinely gather, such as child care facilities, camps (including day camps and overnight camps), and institutions of higher education (colleges and universities), should also consider strategies for preventing Zika virus transmission. In these settings, interventions to prevent and prepare for Zika virus infection should, at minimum, be consistent with the recommendations for K–12 schools. Administrators should act in accordance with regulations concerning public health issues relevant to their specific settings. The Administration for Children and Families has developed informational resources for child care providers to prepare for Zika virus21, and CDC has developed Zika virus communication toolkits for day camp and overnight camp settings, as well as for colleges and universities.22 College and university administrators should pay particular attention to issues relevant to students in this age group, including sexual transmission, guidance for pregnant women and their male sexual partners, and travel advisories.


Key Points

  • Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito, through sexual contact, or from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Zika virus is not passed directly from person to person through casual contact.
  • For most children and adults, Zika virus infection will not cause symptoms or will only cause mild symptoms.
  • Zika virus infection during pregnancy is associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes and certain birth defects; therefore, special considerations for preventing exposure might be needed for pregnant women, women trying to conceive, and their male sexual partners.
  • School jurisdictions should proactively establish effective channels of communication with local government and public health authorities regarding response plans for local transmission of Zika virus disease.
  • School administrators can help provide safe school environments through mosquito bite prevention efforts and sharing of accurate Zika virus information with staff members, students, and families.
  • It is not recommended for schools to remove students or staff members who have Zika virus disease or who were exposed to Zika virus, or to cancel school-related activities because of Zika virus concerns.
  • Nondiscrimination and privacy and confidentiality measures should be maintained for all students and staff members.

References

     
  1. Duffy MR, Chen TH, Hancock WT, et al. Zika virus outbreak on Yap Island, Federated States of Micronesia. N Engl J Med 2009;360:2536–43.
  2.  
  3. CDC. Zika virus: Areas with Zika. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  4.  
  5. CDC. Zika virus: About estimated range of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the United States, 2016 Maps. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  6.  
  7. Oster AM, Russell K, Stryker JE, et al. Update: Interim guidance for prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus—United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:323–5.
  8.  
  9. Rasmussen SA, Jamieson DJ, Honein MA, Petersen LR. Zika virus and birth defects—reviewing the evidence for causality. N Engl J Med 2016;374:1981–7.
  10.  
  11. CDC. Zika virus: What parents should know about Zika. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  12.  
  13. Cao-Lormeau VM, Blake A, Mons S, et al. Guillain-Barré syndrome outbreak associated with Zika virus infection in French Polynesia: a case-control study. Lancet 2016;387:1531–9.
  14.  
  15. CDC. Zika virus disease in the United States, 2015–2016. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  16.  
  17. Hahn MB, Eisen RJ, Eisen L, et al. Reported distribution of Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti and Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus in the United States, 1995–2016 (Diptera: Culicidae). J Med Entomol 2016. Epub June 9, 2016.
  18.  
  19. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Interim guidance for protecting workers from occupational exposure to Zika virus. Washington, DC: US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration; 2016.
  20.  
  21. CDC. Controlling mosquitoes at home. Atlanta, GA. US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  22.  
  23. CDC. Draft interim CDC Zika response plan (CONUS and Hawaii): Initial response to Zika virus. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  24.  
  25. CDC. Zika virus: Prevention. Atlanta, GA. US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  26.  
  27. US Environmental Protection Agency. Find the insect repellent that is right for you. Washington, DC: US Environmental Protection Agency; 2016.
  28.  
  29. CDC. Zika travel information. Atlanta, GA. US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  30.  
  31. Kann L, McManus T, Harris WA, et al. Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2015. MMWR Surveill Summ 2016;65(No. SS-6).
  32.  
  33. CDC. Zika virus: Pregnant women: how to protect yourself. Atlanta, GA. US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.
  34.  
  35.  Aronson SS, Shope T, editors. Managing infectious diseases in child care and schools. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2013.
  36.  
  37. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Bloodborne pathogens and needlestick prevention. Washington, DC: US Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration; 2016.
  38.  
  39. Oduyebo T, Petersen EE, Rasmussen SA, et al. Update: interim guidelines for health care providers caring for pregnant women and women of reproductive age with possible Zika virus exposure—United States, 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:122–7.
  40.  
  41. Administration for Children and Families. Zika virus resources. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families; 2016.
  42.  
  43. CDC. Zika communication toolkits. Atlanta, GA. US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2016.


Additional Resources

ATV Safety

The Free Press WV

Bridgeport, WV – Although All Terrain Vehicles (ATV) can make for a fun day, recreational vehicles can also be very dangerous. If not treated with the respect that ATV’s deserve, someone can seriously hurt themselves or even others. Take time to become acquainted with your ATV, know the rules and take the proper precautions.

“One wrong move or misuse of your off-road vehicle can take you from the trails, to the emergency room within minutes,” said Thomas Marshall, M.D., Medical Director at United Hospital Center. “ATV safety is a very serious issue, which needs to be addressed. The lack of ATV safety brings thousands of people annually to emergency departments all over the United States.”


Statistics

“People often forget that ATV’s are not toys, they are a vehicle and should be driven with just as much caution as you would a car,” said Dr. Marshall. “In 2014 the Consumer Product Safety Commission recorded that more than 700 deaths and over 100,000 ATV related injuries occurred in the United States.”

These statistics can be lowered if we work to keep people informed about potential accidents that can occur with the misuse of an ATV. Remember that not all recreational vehicles are meant to be handled by children and to always wear the proper safety equipment when operating your off-road vehicle.


Operation

When operating your off-road vehicle, there are a few things that everyone should keep in mind. The first being never operate an ATV while under the influence of alcohol. Next, always read the operation manual before ever attempting to drive. “Ninety-two percent of recreational vehicle-related fatalities are due to warned-against behaviors,” said Dr. Marshall. “Know your ATV’s limits and never attempt to ride on dangerous terrain.”


Safety Equipment

“The use of safety equipment when riding recreational vehicles is extremely important,” said Dr. Marshall. “It is estimated that helmets alone reduce the risk of a fatality in an accident by 42 percent.” Other equipment such as goggles, gloves, long sleeve shirts, pants and over-ankle boots should be worn at all times. These pieces of equipment could be the difference between life and death on any given day. They should always be worn, even by the most experienced driver.


Purchasing

Purchasing an ATV is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Before ever purchasing an ATV, it is important for you to locate and participate in a riding course.

“ATV accidents can happen to the most experienced riders, don’t become another statistic,” said Dr. Marshall. “Know the equipment you are riding.”

Independence Day Safety

The Free Press WV

Bridgeport, WV – The Fourth of July holiday is right around the corner. As it approaches we must remember to keep safety as a first priority. There are dangers that come along with celebrating and it is important to take the necessary precautions to prevent accidents from occurring.

“Whether you’re spending the day on the water or enjoying a nice family barbecue, dangers can be found all around you,” said Christopher S. Goode, MD, FACEP, executive vice chair Department of Emergency Medicine at WVU Medicine, with clinical responsibilities at United Hospital Center’s Emergency Department. “The Fourth July, although a time of celebration, comes with many safety risks. The launching of fireworks, traveling, boating and consumption of alcohol can all have severe consequences if not properly handled.”


Traveling

There will be a lot of people traveling during the Fourth of July holiday this year, so it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to follow a few safety tips. Remember to stay off your cell phones and other devices while driving.
“Always be aware of your surroundings and buckle your seatbelt,” said Dr. Goode. “It is estimated that seatbelts can save 155 lives during holidays like the Fourth of July.”


Boating

One of the favorite ways of celebrating the Fourth of July is by getting the family together and hitting the lake. People enjoy taking their boats on the water, especially on a hot, holiday weekend. This can become dangerous when people start to neglect safety rules and regulations.

The number of boating related injuries this time of year has been on the rise. Dr. Goode says that between the years of 2013 and 2014, the number of deaths increased eight percent. People will neglect simple safety laws such as wearing a life jacket, which statistics consistently show that 80 percent of those who perished in boating accidents were not wearing. Boaters must also stay aware of others on the water. There will not only be other boats, but also kayakers and swimmers.


Fireworks

“In 2013 fireworks accounted for 11,400 injuries and eight deaths in the United States,” said Dr. Goode. “People need to remember that fireworks are explosives and should be handled with caution. That is why I always recommend that you should go see a fireworks display.”

However, we know that not everyone will heed such advice. Therefore, here are a few simple safety measures you can take to keep yourself and others around you safe when launching fireworks this Fourth of July. Remember to read all instructions before ever lighting a firework. Always launch off a flat surface and safely away from any bystanders, houses or flammable materials. Fireworks are to only be handled by adults; never should these be given to children, regardless of the type. A sparkler burns at 2000 degrees Fahrenheit which can melt some metals and easily injure a child’s hand. 


Drinking and Driving

“Drinking and driving can be a deadly combination when mixed together. People under the influence of alcohol are 11 times more likely to be in a car accident than those who are not,” said Dr. Goode. “In 2014 there were approximately 9,967 people killed in drunken driving incidences in the United States.”

If you want to keep yourself and others on the road safe this holiday weekend, then remember these rules:

• Always have a designated driver who can take you home, if your holiday celebrating includes the consumption of alcohol.

• A cab is also an option if you cannot find someone sober to drive you.

“The July Fourth celebration of our nation’s independence is one we all look forward to; just remember no matter how you choose to celebrate this great day, take a few moments to make safety part of your holiday plans,” said Dr. Goode.

Mosquito Bite Prevention is Important During Flood Clean Up

The Free Press WV

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Health is encouraging residents to take mosquito bite precautions while conducting flood clean up.

“Flooding leads to increased mosquito activity which can elevate the risk of mosquito bites and the potential for mosquito-borne diseases,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health. “Standing or pooling water from recent heavy rainfall and flooding across the state have created conditions for mosquito breeding. It is important to be proactive in protecting yourself as flood clean up is underway.”


The following actions should be considered to reduce the risk of mosquitoes and mosquito bites in areas where flood clean up is occurring:

• Remove flood-water debris on and around your property.

• Empty or drain potted plant bases, tires, buckets or containers, and roof gutters.

• Drain any pooled rainwater or floodwater that may have collected in containers around your property.

• Be sure to wear insect repellent.

• Wear long sleeves and pants while conducting flood clean up.

• Dispose of potential mosquito breeding sites by emptying stagnant pools of water around your house and yard, if possible.


Mosquito-borne illness could include Lacrosse Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.  More information about mosquito-borne disease and prevention is available online at www.dide.wv.gov.

DHHR Warns Residents of Possible Mold Exposure During Clean Up

The Free Press WV

​The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Public Heath is encouraging residents in areas impacted by flooding to be aware of the effects of exposure to mold during the clean up process.

“After flooding, water can cause the growth of mold in homes and buildings,” said Dr. Rahul Gupta, State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health.  “When entering a home that has been flooded, be aware that mold may be present and can pose a health risk for you and your family. If you have a chronic lung condition like asthma or a weakened immune system, you could develop mold infections in your lungs, and you should try to avoid buildings contaminated with mold.”

Signs of indoor mold growth include staining on surfaces, a musty odor, dark spots on or around vents, water stains and peeling or curling of vinyl floors or wallpaper.

Common reactions to mold are cough, congestion, runny nose, burning eyes, headaches, sneezing and sore throat. Children, pregnant women, older people and people with weakened immune systems may be more sensitive to mold than others.

“If you plan to be inside the building for a while or you plan to clean up mold, you should take appropriate preventive measures to protect your health while in the building,” said Gupta.  “If you or your family members have health problems after exposure to mold, contact your doctor or other health care provider.”

Residents should be aware that due to the contaminated flood waters, professional help may be needed to rid the home of mold.  Professional help is also needed if the home’s heating/venting/air conditioning system has been flooded, to remove any debris or mold growing inside of it. 

More information on cleaning up safely after a disaster is available HERE.

Area Closings and Delays on Monday, February 15, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Monday, February 15, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay -to- ALL CLOSED  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Calhoun County Schools 3 Hour Delay -to- ALL CLOSED  
Doddridge County Schools    
Lewis County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Ritchie County Schools All Closed  
 
Barbour County Schools 2 Hour Delay -to- ALL CLOSED  
Clay County Schools All Closed  
Harrison County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Nicholas County Schools All Closed  
Pleasants County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Roane County Schools 2 Hour Delay -to- ALL CLOSED  
Tyler County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Upshur County Schools All Closed  
Webster County Schools All Closed  
Wetzel County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Wirt County Schools All Closed  
Wood County Schools All Closed  

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Cancellation Notices

The Free Press WV

  • The Valentine’s Brunch scheduled for Sunday, February 14, 2016 at the Gilmer County Historical Society has been postponed until Sunday, February 21, 2016 due to weather.  So come see us on the 21st, 11 AM to 2 PM. 


  • County Sing scheduled for this Saturday at the Gilmer County Senior Center has been Canceled due to he predicted bad weather.

Area Closings and Delays on Friday, February 12, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Friday, February 12, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Calhoun County Schools    
Doddridge County Schools    
Lewis County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Ritchie County Schools    
 
Barbour County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Clay County Schools    
Harrison County Schools    
Nicholas County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Pleasants County Schools    
Roane County Schools    
Tyler County Schools    
Upshur County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Webster County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Wetzel County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Wirt County Schools    
Wood County Schools    

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Area Closings and Delays on Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Thursday, February 11, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Calhoun County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Doddridge County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Lewis County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Ritchie County Schools All Closed  
 
Barbour County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Clay County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Harrison County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Nicholas County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Pleasants County Schools All Closed  
Roane County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Tyler County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Upshur County Schools All Closed  
Webster County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Wetzel County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Wirt County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Wood County Schools All Closed  

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Area Closings and Delays on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Calhoun County Schools 3 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Doddridge County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Lewis County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Ritchie County Schools All Closed  
 
Barbour County Schools ALL CLOSED  
Clay County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Harrison County Schools ALL CLOSED  
Nicholas County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Pleasants County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Roane County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Tyler County Schools All Closed  
Upshur County Schools 2 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Webster County Schools 3 Hour Delay  -to-   ALL CLOSED  
Wetzel County Schools All Closed  
Wirt County Schools All Closed  
Wood County Schools All Closed  

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Area Closings and Delays on Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools All Closed  
Braxton County Schools All Closed  
Calhoun County Schools All Closed  
Doddridge County Schools All Closed  
Lewis County Schools All Closed  
Ritchie County Schools All Closed  
 
Barbour County Schools All Closed  
Clay County Schools Closing 2 Hours Early  
Harrison County Schools All Closed  
Nicholas County Schools All Closed  
Pleasants County Schools All Closed  
Roane County Schools All Closed  
Tyler County Schools All Closed  
Upshur County Schools All Closed  
Webster County Schools All Closed  
Wetzel County Schools All Closed  
Wirt County Schools All Closed  
Wood County Schools All Closed  

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

Area Closings and Delays on Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Gilmer Free Press
Status of Area Closings and Delays on Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Glenville State College    
Gilmer County Board of Education    
Gilmer County Courthouse  
Gilmer County Health Department  
Gilmer County Senior Center  
Minnie Hamilton Health System, Glenville Office Clinic
Gilmer County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Braxton County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Calhoun County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Doddridge County Schools    
Lewis County Schools All Closed  
Ritchie County Schools    
 
Barbour County Schools All Closed  
Clay County Schools All Closed  
Harrison County Schools 3 Hour Delay  
Nicholas County Schools    
Pleasants County Schools    
Roane County Schools    
Tyler County Schools    
Upshur County Schools 2 Hour Delay  
Webster County Schools    
Wetzel County Schools    
Wirt County Schools    
Wood County Schools    

 

Please Send us your closings and delays:  ‘tellus@gilmerfreepress.net’  or   304.462.8700

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