Health Department Identifies Case of COVID-19 in Kanawha County

Today, the first positive case of COVID-19 was found in Charleston. Epidemiologists are identifying persons who may have had close personal contact with this individual, including any friends, family members or health care professionals, to assess and monitor them for signs and symptoms of illness. All confirmed cases are isolated and close contacts are quarantined for 14 days from last exposure. 

“Now more than ever, we need to remain vigilant and do our part to stop the spread of this disease in our community,” said Dr. Sherri Young, health officer and executive director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department. 

Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin and Kanawha County Commissioners Kent Carper, Henry C. Shores, and Ben Salango joined together to ask Kanawha County to “Pause in Place” this weekend. This pause is to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our City and County.

“With the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Charleston, I implore folks now more than ever to stay in this weekend and continue to practice social distancing. If you must go out, try to make one trip. In one outing, visit your favorite local restaurant for pick-up, the grocery store, pharmacy and get any other essential things that you need,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “We are working diligently to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. It will take everyone’s participation and help to make the biggest possible impact.”

The City of Charleston is currently bagging meters in front of restaurants offering curbside pickup. These bagged meters will stay in place until further notice.

Beginning Friday evening, the City and County are asking individuals to stay at home throughout the weekend. If you must go out, try to take only one trip. Try to run errands by yourself and have hand sanitizer with you if available.

Commission President Carper said, “We are coming together as a county, state, and country to win this marathon. We must stand together, but we are going to do so by staying home. While we're home this weekend, I’m asking you to turn on your front porch light in recognition of our uniformed 1st responders, but in this crisis that includes our nurses, doctors and all healthcare providers.  Let them know your support of their bravery and selfless, heroic sacrifice to protect all of us. Show your support by turning your light on and leaving it on, we are doing this to protect them and do our part!”

Commissioner Salango added, “I know people want to help.  The duty we have as citizens is to abide by the suggestions made by the experts.  Stay at home and limit outings to those of necessity.   Our most vulnerable, our elderly and immunocompromised,  we must protect them.

Throughout this pandemic, the City and County want to continue to promote being a good neighbor. Check on friends, relatives and neighbors – especially those that are elderly.

Residents are urged to continue to take the following precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus and other respiratory illness in our community:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Put distance between yourself and other people.  This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
  • If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. 
  • If you are not sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.

For the latest federal guidance updates, visit