BLUEFIELD — Seven more COVID-19 deaths have been reported in Mercer County since last week bringing the total of deaths to date to 79.

The Mercer County Health Department reported the five deaths Wednesday: a 55-year old female, a 72-year old male, an 87-year-old male, an 81-year old male and an 89-year old female; a 66-year old male on Thursday; and one additional death Friday morning of an 86-year old female.

However, the number of active cases in the county continue to decrease, dropping to 1,395, down from 1,434 on Tuesday.

On Jan. 8, that number stood at 1,700.

Dr. Steven Stefancic, Mercer County Health Officer, said recently that the number of new positive cases in the county continues to go down, a trend that Gov. Jim Justice said is being seen on a state level.

A statewide vaccination clinic program is also under way in the state, with Mercer County a regional site.

The first clinic here will be held today at the Princeton Church of God, but Stefancic said all slots for doses have already been filled.

“Currently, there are more individuals who want the vaccine than what we have been told we will be receiving this week,” he said.

But he urged anyone who has not yet signed up and submitted the information to do so, with registration online the best way.

“We will be working through the list as time progresses to make sure everyone who wants a vaccine will get a vaccine,” he said, adding that all will be followed up to make sure they get the second dose.

Those who are 65 and older and want a vaccine can register online at mchdwv. com and when vaccines are available they will be contacted with an appointment. A link to the request form is also available on the Health Department's Facebook page.

Brenda Donithan, administrator of the health department, said the website was temporarily down but they are working on it to restore it.

— Contact Charles Boothe at cboothe@bdtonline. com

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