Square dance calling — the spoken instructions said over the music — makes participation easy. But there are other aspects — like the prevalence of gendered language such as “ladies and gents” — that can make square dancing an unwelcoming or confusing space. One group of friends in the Appalachian square dance scene are taking action to make the tradition more welcoming for all participants.Continue Reading Take Me to More News
The Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has replaced its COVID-19 dashboard with a new system to track three respiratory diseases.
According to a note on the West Virginia DHHR’s website, the COVID-19 dashboard ended on Oct. 11 as part of the DHHR’s transition from the emergency phase of COVID-19 response to sustainable public health practice.
This strategy mirrors that of the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s approach to respiratory illness season.
The dashboard will still track cases of COVID-19 in West Virginia, in addition to influenza and RSV, the three major respiratory viruses that cause severe respiratory illness.
It will include regular updates on respiratory illness season and focus on data that gives the public the most accurate picture.
Flu symptoms accounted for 2.48 percent of emergency room visits in the state last week, COVID symptoms accounted for 3.19 percent and RSV accounted for .10 percent of the state’s emergency room visits as of Oct. 20, according to the dashboard.
The dashboard currently rates West Virginia’s weekly influenza activity indicator at “Minimal,” with a 1.41 percent decrease from last year in outpatient visits for influenza-like symptoms.
The dashboard also reports there have been 923 new cases of COVID-19 received by the agency since the last update, with .56 percent of weekly hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 and weekly emergency room visits for COVID-19 symptoms accounting for 3.19 percent of emergency room visits.
The dashboard is updated every Friday by 10 a.m.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.