A Message from Visit Wheeling, WV

March 16, 2020

 

 

The Wheeling-Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau is dedicated to providing visitors with up to date information about our area as the status of the COVID-19 evolves.  We will be updating our Facebook page, Twitter (@WheelingVisitor) and Instagram (@WheelingVisitor) with changes to events, hours of operations for businesses and restaurants.  Many restaurants are taking the precautions to enhance social distancing and offering curb side carry out as well as delivery.  Please see below some tips and facts as you plan your next trip to our area.

 

 

A message from the West Virginia Office of Tourism and the Wheeling/Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau

 

A NOTE FROM THE COMMISSIONER

Good morning industry partners,

As West Virginia continues to monitor the status of COVID-19, Governor Justice has emphasized to me that state government will provide every possible support for our tourism industry during this unusually challenging time. With that in mind, I wanted to share some of the latest updates on the situation:

  • The governor and his administration are committed to keeping COVID-19 as their top priority and will update the public accordingly.
  • With support from the U.S. Travel Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association, Congress is considering several actions to provide COVID-19 relief, including paid sick leave, enhanced unemployment insurance, food security, medical testing and treatment and more for our industry.
  • As you know, most tourist trips to and within West Virginia are taken by car. The Tourism Office is shifting all current advertising and promotional dollars to drive markets. We anticipate that many tourists will continue to travel within the United States while observing appropriate health precautions, that many of them will choose to travel by car, and that many will prefer rural and outdoor destinations to large urban areas. We will adjust our messaging and budgets accordingly.
  • We are developing new content geared toward spring vacations and low-crowd activities.
  • At this time, all West Virginia tourism destinations remain open for business while observing appropriate health precautions, and our marketing will communicate that message.
  • Our tourism partners are encouraged to implement additional sanitation measures and communicate with the public to let them know what measures you are taking to reduce risks of transmission at your place of business.
  • When the threat dissipates, we expect that pent-up demand will fuel a rebound in travel and tourism. The Tourism Office is developing a marketing plan to deploy at the appropriate time to capture that rebound market for West Virginia.
  • Please make sure you keep up to date with information being released by the CDC and the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources. Please remain informed and follow best practices to keep you, your workplace and your families safe. Please direct all health-related questions to the state hotline: 800-877-4304.

Governor Justice and our team remain staunchly committed to West Virginia tourism and are here to help in these difficult circumstances. Our industry has been through difficult circumstances in the past.  We always bounce back.  This will be no exception.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call our office at 304-558-2200 or email me at Chelsea.A.Ruby@wv.gov.

Chelsea

 

 

The Wheeling/Ohio County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Special thanks to
Nick Breedlove, CDME, CHIA, TMP
Jackson County, North Carolina TDA Executive Director

 

 

The Wheeling/Ohio County Convention and Visitor is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it relates to West Virginia and Ohio County. Our top priority is the safety, health, and wellbeing of our community, its residents, and visitors. This is a rapidly evolving situation that changes by the hour and there is a lot of uncertainty. We are providing you resources below for your business and employees; Please forward to any colleagues in the industry that you feel would benefit from this information.

Our team is in regular contact with the State Tourism Office (www.visitwv.com) and on weekly calls with Destinations International and the U.S. Travel Association to stay informed on the latest updates as it relates to travel.

The most up-to-date information for Ohio County is located at the http://www.ohiocountyhealth.com/ here.

  • The most up-to-date information on a federal level is available on the CDC’s website here.Best practices:

    Many of our large Accommodations receive guidance from corporate as to the proper sanitization and disinfecting protocol during times like this. For others, follow CDC guidance located here. Ensure you clean items including (but not limited to): door handles, telephones, toilets, light switches, remote controls, blowdryers, HVAC controls, faucet handles, and other surfaces frequently. Link to ECOLab’s full guidance for Hospitality [download PDF].

    Restaurants may consider moving items touched by consumers to behind the counter. This keeps customers from touching multiple cups, coffee lids, straws, utensils, and other items and the potential spread of germs where multiple items are handled. By handing one to a customer it may help the spread of germs. Also offering a separate new cup for a refill may be feasible. A link to ServSafe’s Coronavirus information is located here.  More resources as they become available for restaurants by the National Restaurant’s Association are online at this link. ECOLab has industry-specific information online here. Link to Restaurants [download PDF]; link to Hospitality [download PDF]; link to Food & Beverage Industry [download PDF].

    There are a number of informational posters for Coronavirus on the CDC’s website here. Two that you may want to display for your employees can be downloaded below.

Germs: Wash hands poster Stop the Spread of Germs poster

General guidance:

  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, the Department of Health always recommends everyday preventive actions to help impede the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with persons in poor health
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Covering your cough or sneezing with a tissue, then disposing of the issue
  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, 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 your hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

SYMPTOMATIC PERSONS
If you need medical care and have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or suspect you might have COVID-19, call ahead and tell your health care provider you have or may have COVID-19. This will allow them to take steps to keep other people from getting exposed. NC DHHS recommends that persons experiencing fever and cough should stay at home and not go out until their symptoms have completely resolved.

HIGH RISK PERSONS WITHOUT SYMPTOMS
Health officials recommend that people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 should stay at home to the extent possible to decrease the chance of infection.
People at high risk include people:

  • Over 65 years of age, or
  • with underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, or
  • with weakened immune systems.

 WORKPLACE
The WVDHS recommends that employers and employees use teleworking technologies to the greatest extent possible, stagger work schedules, and consider canceling non-essential travel. Workplaces should hold larger meetings virtually, to the extent possible. Additionally, employers should arrange the workspace to optimize distance between employees, ideally at least six feet apart. Employers should urge high risk employees to stay home and urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.

MASS GATHERINGS, COMMUNITY, AND SOCIAL EVENTS
CDC recommends that organizers of events that draw more than 50 people should cancel, postpone, modify these events or offer online streaming services. These events include large gatherings where people are in close contact (less than 6 feet), for example concerts, conferences, sporting events, faith-based events and other large gatherings.

 

Sincerely,

Frank O’Brien, CDME

Wheeling/Ohio County CVB

 

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