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Health officials work to stamp out rumors

ELKINS — Rumors spreading on social media is another contagion local health department officials are dealing with, along with COVID-19.

Randolph County Health Department Infectious Disease Specialist Bonnie Woodrum said people need to turn to trusted sources of information and make sure they are protecting themselves from coronavirus.

“I receive several calls a day about posts people see on social media,” Woodrum said. “Consult the state DHHR website or the CDC website, don’t go on Facebook and take it as gospel.”

Two rumors spreading locally concern the Elkins Manor and the Subway location at the Elkins Walmart. Woodrum said there are no cases at the Elkins Manor. She said there was a suspected case but test results were negative.

A post spreading on social media claims the Subway location has been closed due to an employee testing positive for the virus. Woodrum said there are no known positive case or contacts with a positive case at that Subway.

Woodrum said as of Tuesday afternoon there were 15 active cases in Randolph County. She said some of the newly reported cases are associated with outbreaks in other counties. Woodrum urged anyone traveling to take extra precautions upon returning home.

“Travelers need to consider they could be bringing it back,” she said. “They need to take strict precautions until they know they are not infected.”

Woodrum also urged the importance of everyone wearing a mask while making sure to wash their hands frequently and to avoid touching their face.

“Think of everyone else,” she said. “If you are not wearing a mask, it shows you don’t really care about others.”

According to the WVDHHR website, as of Wednesday at 10 a.m., there were 2,582 COVID-19 cases in West Virginia and there have been 92 related deaths in the Mountain State.

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