Locally in Lee County, Virginia construction is already underway on a truck climbing lane on the West side of Powell Mountain on Route 58. Costing just over two million dollars, the endeavor is projected to be finished by September 2021. Area drivers are encouraged to use the utmost caution when traveling through this area as workers will be in and about during the entire project.
Currently the LENOWISCO Health District is looking to hire a COVID19 Emergency Planner at a pay rate of $40 hour. This person will support the VDH response to and recovery from the pandemic. This position will assist in planning and coordination of community Points of Dispensing Sites throughout the health district.
The LENWISCO Health District has announced that we can expect the first COVID19 vaccines in Virginia next week. These first 146,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to be given to healthcare workers and residents of long-term care facilities first. Additional doses are expected to arrive in the early part of the coming year, and they will be distributed to the general populace, however the exact dates are not known at this time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that these first vaccines go to healthcare workers and residents of long-term facilities as soon as possible. Virginians who do not fall into either of these categories will be offered the vaccine at a later date when it is more readily available. Children and pregnant adults will be offered vaccines only after the vaccine has been tested and approved for them.
Additional information on this is available by visiting our website and clicking on the convenient link to the Virginia Department of Health’s COVID19 Vaccine website www.vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine/
In a recent Press Release from the Health Wagon, is the announcement of their innovative approaches to healthcare delivery. Having recently hosted the first Post COVID19 Clinic in the Central Appalachian region, they are in a race to save individuals during this pandemic with a three prong approach including, mass testing, treatment of those who test positive, and management of lingering and life-threatening symptoms after surviving the disease through an innovative and specialized clinic.
A former police officer, Steve Smith was recently saved by Dr. Teresa Tyson who performed a home visit to provide additional treatment after Mr. Smith had developed a new shortness of breath issue, after having been successfully treated for COVID19. Dr. Tyson then requested that Dr. Ross Isaacs implement Post COVID19 Clinics for patients who have tested positive and later develop symptoms of the lungs, heart and memory.
Steve was the first patient to use and benefit from the new clinic when it was found that he had developed multiple blood clots throughout his body and had to be immediately hospitalized and started on blood thinners.
Dr. Tyson is looking to involve other medical specialists to cover other specialties after acquiring a retired Pulmonologist and medical director to coordinate xray screening at no cost to be performed by the Health Wagon, in addition to Pulmonary Function testing.
For more information on how to become a patient in the new clinic or ways you can help, please contact the Health Wagon at 276-328-8850.
Spearhead Trails wants to help local residents in the seven county region that they serve by offering 2021 Resident Motorized Trails Discounts to all residents of Norton, Tazewell, Buchanan, Wise, Dickenson, Russell, Scott and Lee counties. This is in effect whether their county met the minimum contribution requirements of their operating funds. This 50% discount of annual passes for motorized trails went into effect on December 19, 2020 at their office and online at www.spearheadtrails.com.
Republican Delegate Will Wampler said, “With this decision, Spearhead Trails is setting the standard for what we should all be focused on during this pandemic, finding ways to support each other and maintaining our sense of community, despite the challenges that we all face. I hope southwest Virginians are able to take advantage of this kindness and this great opportunity Right here in our own backyard.”
Additionally they are offering Sportsman’s Complex Passes for the use of their Archery and Shooting Ranges that will open at various times between January and Spring of 2021. These passes help to support their operations and events. Furthermore, Spearhead Trails will offer any full-time resident police officers in the region a 25% discount to the Sportsman Passes. This discount offer is open to any full time officers residing in one of the seven Virginia Coalfield Counties.
Non-motorized trails, designed for equestrian, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking remain the same, with no fixed prices for hikers and kayakers but instead donations are accepted.
A reminder from the LENOWISCO Health District that individuals interested in being testing for COVID19, may do so free of charge by contacting your local health department. You are required to phone your local health department ahead of time and receive an appointment time for your test.
In Lee County they offer free testing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, simply call 276-346-2011 for additional information and to reserve your appointment for this free service.
In Scott County they offer free testing on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, simply call 276-386-1312 for additional information and to reserve your appointment for this free service.
In the City of Norton and Wise County they offer free testing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, simply call 276-328-8000 for additional information and to reserve your appointment for this free service.
Tomorrow, Saturday December 19th, 2020, the Virginia Army National Guard in partnership with the Virginia Department of Health LENOWISCO Health District is offering free COVID19 testing services for all Virginia residents at the Gate City Flea Market beginning at 8am until 4pm.
If you’re experiencing undue stress or worry, or have questions about COVID19, the Virginia Department of Health encourages you to telephone during normal operating hours at 276-415-3430 to speak to someone local. Crisis Counselors are also available Monday-Friday from 9am-9pm and Saturday-Sundays from 5-9pm. You may also visit online at www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus.
COVID-19 is still spreading in communities across Virginia. VDH advises all Virginians to stay home as much as possible, especially if you are at higher risk of serious illness. Keep at least 6 feet apart from others. Wear a mask when you are in public spaces, especially where keeping 6 feet apart is difficult, such as in stores. Wash your hands often, stay home if you are sick, and disinfect high-touch surfaces frequently. These all are very important ways to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Check out VDH’s Prevention Tips to learn more.
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person. Spread occurs between people who are in close contact (within about 6 feet for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) with one another through respiratory droplets that come from the mouth or nose when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, or speaks. Sometimes spread can occur through airborne transmission. This means an infected person releases small droplets and particles with the virus that could linger in the air for minutes to hours and might be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet away from the person who is infected.
This type of spread is uncommon but occurs more often in enclosed spaces with poor ventilation. Less commonly, COVID-19 can spread through contact with contaminated surfaces. COVID-19 can be spread by people who are not showing symptoms or before their symptoms begin. Everyone can limit their exposure by staying home as much as possible. If you decide to go out, follow these tips to stay safe.
You generally need to be in close contact with a person who has COVID-19 while they are contagious to get infected. Close contact includes: Being within 6 feet of a person who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, or
Having direct exposure to respiratory secretions (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on, sharing a drinking glass or utensils, kissing), or providing care for a person who has COVID-19, or living with a person who has COVID-19.
A person with COVID-19 is considered to be contagious starting from 2 days before they became sick (or 2 days before they tested positive if they never had symptoms) until they meet the criteria to discontinue
From more than one hundred school divisions around the Commonwealth, some of the lucky ones were our very own Lee County Public Schools. These grant allocations were announced by the Virginia Department of Education for $12 million in total for the State School Security Equipment Grants project, intended to protect faculty, students and visitors during these trying times. Locally Lee County Public Schools were awarded $250,000 to be used for all nine local public schools in our area.
These grant monies will be used to pay for video monitoring equipment, video and voice sytems, interior cameras on local school buses, mass notification and visitor identification systems, and are just a portion of the security upgrades planned for our local schools.
The Virginia Department of Education and the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice designed the criteria for selection of eligible school based on those most in need of modernizing their security equipment, schools with high numbers of offenses, schools with equipment needs as determined by a school security audit, and those determined to be the least able to afford up to date security upgrades. This year marks the first time that this type of grant funding has been expanded to include funding for school bus security equipment.
According to a statement from Governor Northam, “This year, we have doubled the amount of assistance available to help Virginia school divisions protect our students and the educators, administrators, and staff dedicated to preparing them for success. We remain focused on supporting students and their families in navigating the pandemic and preparing for in person learning to resume, which includes ensuring that our schools have all the necessary technology, equipment and systems to keep everyone safe and to respond to emergencies.”
The monthly Lee County Extension Office’s Farmer’s Gathering meeting will be held tomorrow, December 15, 2020 from 7:30-8:30 pm via the telephone and Zoom. This segment of the series will feature Kevin Spurlin of the Grayson County Extension Office, who will be discussing the subject of your livestock’s manure and what it can be telling you about their health needs and nutrition.
Additional information is available by contacting Amy Byington at 276-698-4506 for technical assistance.
While 2020 has seen many cancellations of events and traditions, residents can still take advantage of our local Leeman Christmas Fantasy attraction nightly from 6-9pm. Open through the end of the year, entry will be by contact free donation box at the entrance gate.
This year’s opening was delayed by the lack of volunteers and Faye Bocock wants the public to know they are still in need of volunteers for gate workers. Anyone interested in donating their time to the community and taking a shift are asked to please contact Faye at 276-393-9465.