Covid-19 Update

BLUEFIELD — Three more COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in Mercer County, health officials confirmed Thursday.

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, three of the eight new virus deaths reported in the state Thursday were an 89-year old female from Mercer County, a 67-year old male from Mercer County, and a 71-year old female from Mercer County.

All three had been hospitalized at Princeton Community Hospital, and were not patients of a nursing home or long-term care center, according to Brenda Donithan, administrator of the Mercer County Health Department.

That brings the county’s COVID-19 death toll to date to 35. Of those 35 deaths, 24 were associated with the Princeton Health Care Center over the summer. The Princeton Health Care Center is once again a COVID-19 outbreak site with four active cases involving employees of the center. However, no new virus cases involving residents of the nursing home have been confirmed to date.

The cumulative total of coronavirus cases to date in Mercer County is now approaching 1,000.

Donithan said the number stood at 949 Thursday morning. Of that number, 308 of the COVID-19 cases were considered active. Donithan said another 641 people who contracted the virus have since recovered.

Donithan said community spread of the virus is still occurring. Complicating matters is the fact that many area residents are still refusing to wear a mask or practice social distancing.

“People are not wearing a mask,” Donithan said. “That is a big problem.”

Donithan said the number of virus cases in Mercer County will likely increase in the weeks ahead as the nation deals with the second wave of the pandemic.

Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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