Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day

October 24, 2020 local groups will once again team up with the Drug Enforcement Administration the DEA, to aid in the growing problem of prescription drug abuse in the region. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Event is intended to provide an easy way to properly dispose of potentially hazardous over the counter and prescription drugs that are either expired, left over or simply unwanted.
Lee, Scott and Wise Counties, along with the City of Norton are all participating and will offer safe and proper disposal places between the hours of 9am-1pm on Saturday. This free service is completely anonymous, with no questions asked. Keep in mind that studies have shown that improper disposal of medications, such as throwing them in the trash or disposing of them in the commode have their own potential risks for health and safety issues.
In Lee County, your disposable medications may be taken to either Food City in Pennington Gap, or the Super Dollar Food Center located in Rose Hill.
Medications that will be accepted are those considered controlled, non-controlled and over the counter medications, this also includes all solid dosage products, along with liquids which must remain in their original container. Medications that will not be accepted for disposal purposes include IV fluids, sharps and needles, and illegal substances like methamphetamine and marijuana.
According to studies, unwanted, unused and expired prescriptions that remain in the home can be very tempting to abuse, diversion and misuse. Studies further add that the abuse of prescription drugs is extremely high in America, along with the increasing amount of accidental overdoses due to the accessibility of these drugs that are often obtained from friends and family. For some, the temptation of the medicine is simply too strong.

Appalachian Regional Commission Awards $43.3 Million

Recently three Southwest Virginia projects were selected among the total fifty-one from across the twelve Appalachian states that will soon receive a combined total of $43.3 million in order to support economic diversification in regionally located coal impacted communities, according to the Appalachian Regional Commission. To date, ARC has already invested more than $238 million in 293 projects, spanning more than 350 Appalachian counties since 2015.
With more than half of the investments going to support recovery to work endeavors or further strengthen the area’s broadband infrastructure according to the latest Press Release from the Appalachian Regional Commission.
In Southwest Virginia, more than $883,000 will be used for projects that include among them, a project for St. Mary’s Health Wagon in Wise County in the amount of $793,500 for the establishment of a substance use disorder treatment -program utilizing medication assisted treatments.
The LENOWISCO Planning District Commission, in order for them to develop a workable strategic plan that allows them to establish a fiber network in a thirteen county region throughout Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.
Funds for these grants has been made possible thru the Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization Initiative also known as POWER. The POWER Initiative is a congressionally funded program that targets federal resources to help regions and communities that have been adversely affected by job losses in coal mining, coal power plant operations and coal related supply chain industrices as a result of the every changing economics of America’s energy production.

Lee County Public Schools Special Education Advisory Committee

The Lee County Public Schools are planning a Special Education Advisory Committee meeting next Tuesday morning, October 27th, 2020 at 10am utilizing Google Meet. Anyone interested in viewing the meeting may do so by logging on to the meeting by going to www.meet.google.com/tee-haof-vtf. You may also join the meeting by telephoning 1-727-223-1785 using PIN# 899055507.
For help or additional information you may also contact Student Services Department locally at 276-346-1546.

Powell River Baptist Church Association’s Annual Shoe Fair

The Powell River Baptist Church Association’s Annual Shoe Fair will be held this year, but according to the guidelines for health safety protocols as pertains to COVID19 Prevention.
The first of the two day Fair, will be Friday, October 23, 2020, and then again the following Friday, October 30th, 2020 from 10am-3pm both days.
Performed as a drive thru event, like recently successful other events, family members are being asked to stay in their vehicles. Occupants are also required to wear masks and they are to be worn by all persons who wish to be served.
Before arrival, parents and or guardians are required to know the shoe sizes their children need in advance, as there is no safe way to allow shoes to be tried on for sizing purposes.
They’d like to remind everyone that the entire process could prove to be time consuming to ensure everyone is served. Please exercise patience and consideration for both those being served and those doing the serving.
Additional information is available by phoning 276-346-1546. If there is no answer, please leave your name, telephone number and include the mention of “Shoe Fair” so your message will be dealt with knowledgeably.

Press Release Manuela Sotillo Solo

A Lynchburg, Virginia man is in custody and charged with five felonies after a shooting late afternoon into a home on Monday, October 12, 2020 in the Gardner Hollow Road section of Wise County. Manuela Sotillo Solo, age 27, of Lynchburg, Virginia, is facing two counts of attempted first degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, malicious discharge of a firearm at an occupied dwelling, and felony destruction of property.
On October 12, 2020, officers responded to a call from dispatch that a subject had shot into a residence on Gardner Hollow Road in Wise County. The Norton City Police Department along with Wise County Sheriff’s Department responded to the call and found Manuela Sotillo Solo in possession of a rifle.
Witnesses confirmed that Manuela Sotillo Solo fired multiple rounds into the home occupied by several other individuals. Officers observed several bullet holes in the walls of the home and damage to several items inside the home, including walls, ceiling, cabinets, washer, dryer, door and roof.
Manuela Sotillo Solo told investigators that he was angry at the residents of the home because they had disrespected him. At this time Mr. Solo remains jailed without bail in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Duffield, Virginia.

Students in Lee County Public Schools

Students in Lee County Public Schools are eligible to receive a second P-EBT benefit this fall. If you received a P-EBT benefit this past spring or summer, the new benefit will be automatically added to your card. If you did not receive a benefit in the summer or spring, you will receive a pre-loaded Virginia P-EBT Card addressed to the parent or guardian. If you’ve lost or discarded your P-EBT card, telephone 1-866-281-2448 to request a replacement card.
It is not necessary to contact the school about this benefit. However, if you have had a change of address or did not receive the spring or summer benefit because of an incorrect address, please contact your child’s school to update your address as soon as possible.
Students who are learning virtually for at least 5 consecutive days and are eligible for free or reduced price meals are eligible to receive a P-EBT benefit this fall. If you received a P-EBT benefit this past spring or summer, the new benefit will be automatically added to your card. All eligible students will be submitted for benefits by the school division. Benefits will be issued between September 30 and October 15, 2020.
If you have questions about P-EBT or want more information, please visit the DSS P-EBT webpage to submit your question and receive a response. As a reminder, the Virginia P-EBT Card will have food assistance benefits on it that can be used for food items anywhere SNAP benefits are accepted.
Participation in the program is voluntary. If you choose not to participate in the program, please dispose of the card by cutting through the magnetic stripe and discarding it in a secure manner.
You will not be able to redeem the food benefits, nor can you transfer the card to someone else.
You may also be eligible for additional assistance with food, medical insurance, and other VDSS programs. Apply online at https://commonhelp.virginia.gov.

Press Release for Lee County Career and Technical Center

The Lee County Public School division is informing parents and guardians that a student or staff member at Lee County Career and Technical Center has been diagnosed with COVID19. This person was on school property on October 8, 2020.
All schools will remain open at this time. They are working with staff from the LENOWISCO Health District to identify anyone who had close contact with the person to determine if they might have been exposed to the COVID19 virus. If you or your child are identified as having been potentially exposed, then the Lee County Health Department will contact you to determine if you need to quarantine.
If a quarantine is ordered, then please follow related guidance. This guidance includes staying home and monitoring for symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or a temperature higher than 100°, and practice social distancing for fourteen days from your last contact. If you are not contacted by the Health Department, then you do not need to stay home or exclude yourself from activities at this time.
Parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of their families for COVID19 symptoms. Children with COVID19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported in some children.
If your child has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID19, please report this to your school. This information is necessary and will be kept confidential.
Remember to do your part by:
Staying home from school or work if sick, even if symptoms are mild.
Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
Wear the mask correctly! In order to be effective it much cover your mouth and your nose.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, and then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for twenty seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
Avoid close contact with people that are sick.
Take care of your health overall. Eat well and exercise to help your body stay resilient.

Press Release for Lee High School

The Lee County Public School division is informing parents and guardians that a student or staff member at Lee High School has been diagnosed with COVID19. This person was on school premises on October 8, 2020.
All schools will remain open at this time. They are working with staff from the LENOWISCO Health District to identify anyone who had close contact with the person to determine if they might have been exposed to the COVID19 virus. If you or your child are identified as having been potentially exposed, then the Lee County Health Department will contact you to determine if you need to quarantine.
If a quarantine is ordered, then please follow related guidance. This guidance includes staying home and monitoring for symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or a temperature higher than 100°, and practice social distancing for fourteen days from your last contact. If you are not contacted by the Health Department, then you do not need to stay home or exclude yourself from activities at this time.
Parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of their families for COVID19 symptoms. Children with COVID19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported in some children.
If your child has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID19, please report this to your school. This information is necessary and will be kept confidential.
Remember to do your part by:
Staying home from school or work if sick, even if symptoms are mild.
Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
Wear the mask correctly! In order to be effective it much cover your mouth and your nose.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve, and then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for twenty seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
Avoid close contact with people that are sick.
Take care of your health overall. Eat well and exercise to help your body stay resilient.

COVID19 Prevention Strategy

Remember to do your part to help prevent the spread of COVID19 by utilizing basic common sense into your safety strategy by:
Staying home from school or work if sick, even if symptoms are mild. What may be a mild illness for you, could be severe if passed to someone less healthy.
Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain. Remember to social distance!
Wear your mask correctly! In order to be effective it must cover your mouth and your nose. Don’t cover your mouth with the mask while leaving your nose exposed.
Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve by coughing into the bend of your elbow, and then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds.
Wash your hands often with soap and water for twenty seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. This easily transmits most common germs.
Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched. Both at home and at work.
Avoid close contact with people that are sick. Hopefully they will stay home and not expose you.
Take care of your health overall. Make certain to eat well and exercise to help your body stay resilient.

Convalescent Plasma Research

According to the National Institute’s of Health website:
Two randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are expanding enrollment to further evaluate convalescent plasma as a treatment for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Preliminary observational studies indicate that convalescent plasma may improve outcomes among severely ill and hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Prospective, well-controlled randomized trials are needed to generate sufficient data on whether convalescent plasma is effective and safe for the treatment of COVID-19.
Convalescent plasma is blood plasma taken from people who have recovered from COVID-19. It contains antibodies that can recognize and neutralize SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, as well as other components that may contribute to an immune response.
The trials expect to enroll hospitalized patients across the country at academic and community-based hospitals. Participants will be randomly assigned to receive the treatment or a placebo. Outcomes will be compared with respect to clinical improvement measures and resource needs, such as ventilators. Both trials currently are enrolling participants and anticipate results as early as this fall.
The trials are receiving $48 million in support through Operation Warp Speed (OWS), a collaborative initiative across federal agencies to advance the development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID‑19 vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of NIH, will oversee the grant awards through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program research network. The CTSA’s Trial Innovation Network (TIN) will play a key role in working to add study sites and enroll patients, including those from communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19.