Marshall County Health Department Closes After One Employee Contracts COVID-19

Photo by Joselyn King – Marshall County Health Department Administrator Tom Cook, left, and Threat Preparedness Director Mark Ackermann announce the temporary closure of the health department during a press conference outside the Marshall County Board of Education offices late Monday morning. The announcement came just after they learned one health department employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

MOUNDSVILLE — The Marshall County Health Department is closed to the public for the next two weeks after one employee there tests positive for COVID 19.

Health Department Administrator Tom Cook and Preparedness Director Mark Ackermann made the announcement during a press conference outside the Marshall County Board of Education offices Monday morning. They had learned just an hour before of the employee testing positive, Ackermann said.

“In an abundance of caution, the Marshall County Health Department will be closed immediately,” he said.

A business specializing in deep cleaning in disinfecting will be called in to deep clean the offices, according to Ackermann.

The office, however, will be available for “emergency situations,” such as to help patients who may need prescriptions. Medical appointments there are being rescheduled.

The doors to the health department are presently locked, and anyone requiring emergency assistance would need to call first, Ackermann said. The phone number there is 304-845-7840.

Health Department officials, meanwhile, are conducting contact tracing to determine what persons the infected employees may have come in contact. Those having had contact with the employee will undergo COVID testing in the next five to seven days, Ackermann said.

“As essential employees, they can actually work while wearing a mask,” he said.

The infected employee is described as having “mild symptoms” associated with COVID, with no one else in the office having any symptoms.

Ackermann and Cook said they have not been identified as having had close contact with the employee.

“We are going to be working, keeping our distance and wearing our masks and trying to work through this,” Ackerman said.

There are 11 employees at the health department, and most can work from home even under quarantine conditions, Ackermann said. Essential employees not testing positive whose duties require them to be in the office will be moved to temporary spaces in other areas at the health department, or to the Marshall County Emergency Management Agency Office.

The office will remain closed to the public for up to 14 days as employees are quarantined.

“We will be taking all the necessary precautions, and some additional ones, to make sure the public is safe,” Ackermann said.


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