Mingo County health officials late last week said there were 41 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 between Oct. 2 through Oct. 9, up eight from the 33 reported for the dates of Sept. 24 through Oct. 1.

As of last week, the total number of cases for the month of October stood at 44 confirmed positive cases. As of presstime, the updated numbers for this week had not yet been released by the Mingo County Health Department.

Because of the increase in both the positivity rate and number of cases, health officials said, Mingo County went from gold on Oct. 6-7, to orange on Oct. 8-9, and then to red on Oct. 10-11, forcing the county’s schools this week to return to remote learning and a suspension of all sports-related activities.

There currently are 17 confirmed cases (11 staff members and six students) in the Mingo County School System. Some of these individuals are still isolating at home, health officials said, with all close contacts also remaining in quarantine.

Health officials said there were 83 people tested in Delbarton on Oct. 9, with three people having tested positive. Another testing event was held in Matewan Oct. 10, and again Oct. 11. Health officials said 35 people were administered tests at the Matewan drive-thru over the two-day period with only two having been confirmed positive.

Testing was also available each day this week at both Mingo Central and Tug Valley high schools. Results from these testing events, as of presstime, were still pending.

Also as of presstime, Thursday, Oct. 15, the WV DHHR Dashboard was reporting Mingo County back in the orange category in its latest School Alert System. Should the county still be listed orange when the system is updated on Saturday, Mingo County schools will again be on the remote learning schedule and sports-related activities will be limited to conditioning/practice only.

As continues to be the procedure, health officials are asking that residents maintain their practice of social distancing, wear face coverings when applicable, and to follow all the governor's executive orders. Those who feel they need to be tested should contact their primary care provider or their local healthcare clinic.

For more information about COVID-19 visit the WV DHHR at www.coronavirus.wv.gov or the CDC at, www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. Residents may also call the Mingo County Health Department at, (304) 235-3570.

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