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In the News

State News: Department of Health comments on pandemic declaration
Local News: Meeting in Riverheads area to discuss possible future fire station
Local News: Discount on SNP concessions for local residents 


State News: Department of Health comments on pandemic declaration

The World Health Organization on Thursday raised its influenza pandemic alert from Phase 5 to Phase 6, reporting that confirmed cases of the novel Influenza A (H1N1) virus have now been found in 74 countries. In most countries, according to the WHO, the increase in cases can be attributed to “good surveillance and testing.”

In Virginia, State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, M.D., MBA, said the WHO’s action was not unexpected. “This change means that the H1N1 virus has reached more parts of the world and is an indication of how easily the virus is spread from person to person,” Commissioner Remley said. “Today’s declaration does not change the nature of the virus’ severity, which remains mild in Virginia, nor does it indicate any change in the behavior of the virus.”

What the declaration does mean for Virginians, the Commissioner said, is the need to remain vigilant against the spread of the disease. “We are focused on monitoring the activity of the virus in our state and on reducing its impact, especially among those at highest risk for complications,” Commissioner Remley said. The state has reported 84 confirmed cases of H1N1 virus, with relatively few hospitalizations and one death of a person who had the infection.

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 13,200 confirmed cases, approximately 1,000 hospitalizations and 27 deaths. The state continues to concentrate its testing protocol on those members of the population who are at highest risk for complications from the virus. These include people who are hospitalized with influenza-like illness, people with underlying chronic health conditions, pregnant women, the elderly and the very young.

People with influenza-like symptoms that include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, chills, fatigue and body aches should:

• stay home from work or school and limit their contact with others to keep from spreading the virus

• cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze and to throw the tissue in the trash

• wash their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Use of alcohol-based hand cleaners also is effective.

• limit close contact with sick people

• prevent the spread of germs by not touching their eyes, nose or mouth

• call their health care provider if they have questions or concerns.


Local News: Meeting in Riverheads area to discuss possible future fire station

Augusta County government is hosting a community meeting on Thursday, June 25, at 7 p.m. at the Riverheads High School auditorium to receive input from Greenville-area residents, businesses and industries to discuss the possibility of locating a fire and rescue station in the area.

For more information on the meeting, call 540.245.5624, extension 2.


Local News: Discount on SNP concessions for local residents

ARAMARK, the authorized concessioner in Shenandoah National Park, is offering discounts on Saturday, June 20, to residents of the eight neighboring counties surrounding the park.

The counties include Albemarle, Augusta, Greene, Madison, Page, Rappahannock, Rockingham and Warren. To receive the discount offers, residents will need to show their Virginia driver’s license at the time of purchase.

The offers include a 10 percent discount on breakfast, lunch or dinner at any of the five food facilities in the park. These include Elkwallow Wayside at mile 24.1 on Skyline Drive, Skyland Resort at mile 41.7 or 42.5, Big Meadows Wayside at mile 51.2, Big Meadows Lodge at mile 51.2 and Loft Mountain Wayside at mile 79.5. It excludes alcoholic beverages and is limited to one discount per purchase.

In addition, a 10 percent discount on retail items is available in the gift shops at these same locations with a $35 minimum purchase. The discount does not apply to publications, alcoholic beverage of any kind, tobacco products, gasoline, grocery/convenience store items and campers’ merchandise. Some “handcrafted” or “one of a kind” items are also excluded.

“We hope the residents of these counties will take advantage of both the fee free day into Shenandoah and the retail and food discounts” said Wayne Soard, Resident District Manager for ARAMARK. “This is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Park and re-discover what is right at their back door.”

For information on National Park Service programs held in Shenandoah National Park, visit, For a complete listing of events or to book overnight reservations at either Skyland Resort, Big Meadows Lodge or Lewis Mountain Cabins, call 800.778.2782 or log on to Purchase a $30 annual Shenandoah National Park pass and visit the park throughout the year.