Manchin Calls On West Virginians To Adhere To Federal Recommendations
Washington, D.C. – Today, after speaking with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to discuss the situation in West Virginia, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is sharing clear and specific social distancing and safety recommendations every West Virginian should be implementing to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“This morning I spoke with Dr. Fauci, a trusted medical expert on COVID-19, about the specifics challenges we are facing here in West Virginia. He shared some concrete steps we can take and stressed that the next two weeks are the most critical time to slow the spread of the virus. I want to pass on his recommendations so every West Virginian can do their part to defeat this pandemic. I urge every West Virginian to take these recommendations seriously and stay home as much as possible,” Senator Manchin said.
- Self-isolation – Anyone older than 60, children, or those with underlying health conditions should stay home. While this is difficult for us as West Virginians, it means not visiting vulnerable grandparents or having large family gatherings until this threat subsides.
- Testing – Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should be able to get a test. However, due to supply chain limitations that is not possible right now. Senator Manchin is in constant communication with officials to secure more testing for West Virginia. Until more tests are available, continue to request a physician’s order for a test. Senator Manchin is advocating for the more than 200 West Virginians who have already contacted him with symptoms and are unable to get a test, or who have not received their test results. A member of his staff will keep in touch with each person daily until symptoms resolve, they receive a test or receive test results.
- Telework – Every West Virginian who is able to telework should do so.
- Shiftwork – For essential services where employers are unable to telework, employers should institute shiftwork to ensure six feet of distance between employees at all times.
- Tourism – Anything that would attract groups of visitors should be avoided for at least the next two weeks.
- Medical Equipment – Equipment is in short supply across the country and here in West Virginia. Senator Manchin is working with federal officials and private industries to get hospitals, health clinics, nursing homes, rehab facilities and first responders the equipment they need to do their jobs safely. This is also an opportunity for West Virginians, to assist in this effort by making masks for hospitals, health clinics and first responders.
- Food and Supplies – Supply chain issues will not be a problem. West Virginians should go to the grocery store to get what they need. Be respectful and do not hoard food or supplies.
- Hygiene – Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty. Avoid touching your hands to your face.
Senator Manchin launched an information resources page where West Virginians can learn more about the coronavirus outbreak and how to protect themselves and their families. To learn more please click here.
To receive daily updates from Senator Manchin on the coronavirus outbreak, please click here.
Below is a timeline of Senator Manchin’s actions throughout the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak:
March 21, 2020 - Senator Manchin requested an update from the federal coronavirus taskforce on the stockpiles of medical supplies to equip West Virginia healthcare professionals with what they need to stay safe as they fight this pandemic.
March 21, 2020 – Senator Manchin participated in a call with the West Virginia American Federation of Teachers about their concerns during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
March 21, 2020 – Senator Manchin called on West Virginian’s who are able to support the medical professional community by making desperately needed medical supplies.
March 20, 2020 - Senator Manchin participated in separate calls with the West Virginia Hospital Association, the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, and the West Virginia Directors for Senior and Community Services to hear their concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
March 19, 2020 - Senator Manchin participated in separate calls with the West Virginia Nursing Association and the West Virginia State Medical Association to hear their concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
March 19, 2020 - Senator Manchin secured a commitment from Fairmont Regional Medical Center they would maintain the facility’s pristine condition when closing so it could easily be reopened should it need to be. He also received a commitment from West Virginia University to open the facility should it need to be.
March 18, 2020 – Senator Manchin voted for Families First Coronavirus Response Act which passed the Senate with a vote of 90-8.
March 18, 2020 – Senator Manchin participated in a call with the West Virginia Hospitality and Travel Association to hear their concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
March 18, 2020 – Senator Manchin pressed the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert Wilkie on the VA’s plans and preparations for the coronavirus outbreak that will disproportionately affect many Veterans.
March 18, 2020 – Senator Manchin spoke on the Senate Floor on the need to support West Virginians at risk during the coronavirus outbreak.
March 18, 2020 – Senator Manchin urged that any emergency funding must focus on medical research and supporting American workers and small businesses.
March 17, 2020 – Senator Manchin released a statement on the first confirmed COVID-19 case in West Virginia in the Eastern Panhandle and on Governor Justice’s decision to close restaurants, bars, and casinos while allowing carry out options.
March 17, 2020 – Senator Manchin secured a commitment from Dr. Stephen Hahn, the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to expedite COVID-19 testing to West Virginia.
March 17, 2020 – Senator Manchin urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec to provide personal protective equipment (PPEs) which includes gloves, gowns, face shields, and masks, to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) for the coronavirus outbreak response.
March 16, 2020 – Senator Manchin spoke on the Senate Floor to urge the Senate to act immediately on emergency coronavirus funding, which had already been passed by the House of Representatives.
March 13, 2020 – Senator Manchin released a statement on the closure of schools in West Virginia.
March 13, 2020 – Senator Manchin successfully advocated for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to approve West Virginia’s application to provide meals to students during the coronavirus outbreak if schools closed.
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