In four hours, 168 tests were administered by the staff of the Hardy County Health Department and the West Virginia Army National Guard on Tuesday, May 12. That’s almost one per minute.
“I’m really proud of our staff and appreciate the assistance of the National Guard,” said Health Department Administrator William Ours.
On Friday, May 8, Governor Jim Justice ordered the West Virginia Army National Guard to Hardy County to assist the Health Department with testing for the COVID-19 virus at the Pilgrim’s Pride facility.
Testing for Pilgrim’s employees in the fresh plant commenced on Monday, May 11. However, only about half of the company’s approximately 900 employees were tested.
“The testing was voluntary,” Ours said.
With the National Guard present, Ours, along with Governor Justice’s office, announced the availability of free testing for all residents of Hardy County on Tuesday.
The testing occurred at the National Guard Armory on Freedom Way, just outside Moorefield.
Tests were only available to residents of the county and residency was verified. Participants were asked to remain in their vehicles while throat or nasal swabs were taken.
According to the Hardy County Health Department, at the community drive through testing, there were two positive cases out of 168 tests. With Pilgrims employee testing, there were 18 positive cases out of 520 tests.
As of Monday, May 18, Hardy County has registered a cumulative 29 positive results for COVID-19. The majority of those are quarantined at home. Nine people have completely recovered from the virus.
“The Hardy County Health Department would like to thank Pilgrim’s Pride Moorefield Plant and the West Virginia National Guard for their cooperation and testing efforts,” Ours said. “We received invaluable help from Pilgrims, the Guard, and citizens of Hardy County.