KEYSER - As West Virginia sees an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases and statistics seem to change by the minute, the City of Keyser, the Mineral County Health Department and others continue to make decision on the fly in an attempt to keep area residents as safe as possible.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - As West Virginia sees an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases and statistics seem to change by the minute, the City of Keyser, the Mineral County Health Department and others continue to make decision on the fly in an attempt to keep area residents as safe as possible.
The City of Keyser closed its parks and playgrounds to the public at the close of the day Friday, with parks and recreation commissioner William Zacot saying the city felt it would be “best for our residents and the surrounding community.”
Health officials have banned congregating in groups of 10 or more, and the city felt closing the parks would discourage groups getting together.
Zacot said city law enforcement would be patrolling the parks to enforce the closure.
At the Mineral County Health Department, administrator A. Jay Root said he has been meeting regularly  with staff, community leaders, and the other health departments in the region to keep everyone updated on the pandemic.
“We want to make sure they have the most up-to-date information,” he said.
Root said health department staff took various supplies, including “probably over 1,100 masks out of our own health department stock” and distributed them to EMS agencies throughout the county.
They also distributed gloves and gowns and other items to help keep the emergency crews safe.
In addition, members of the environmental staff at the health department have been visiting food establishments in the county to make sure they are following proper sanitation standards with drink machines, ice machines, and the like.
Meanwhile, the health department plans to continue with the various clinics they offer on site, but they ask that people call in if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
“We have to protect our staff so we can serve the public,” Root said.
Root suggests those looking for information and the latest statistics on COVID-19 to visit the health department’s website at www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com and click on the link.