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1 Randolph virus case attributed to community spread

ELKINS — With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the Mountain State, Randolph County’s numbers appear to be on an even keel, with a bulk of the 201 confirmed cases to date coming from the now-contained outbreak at Huttonsville Correctional Center.

However, one current case appears to be attributable to community spread, a local health official said Tuesday.

One hundred and forty of Randolph County’s cases were related to the prison, officials said. There are currently six active cases in Randolph County, three of whom are currently hospitalized, with one person in an intensive care unit.

The Randolph County Health Department is working vigorously to help control and contain any new cases that arise.

“We keep up with those infected and everyone they’ve been around,” said Randolph-Elkins Health Department Infectious Disease Specialist Bonnie Woodrum. “If we have someone that has tested positive, we attempt to track where it came from, then look at their workplace or where they go to school. Then we reach out to anyone they may have been around.”

Woodrum said several of the cases in Randolph County can be traced to destinations other than the immediate area.

“It only takes one person coming from the beach or somewhere else for others to contract COVID-19,” she said. “We had two cases we tracked back from Morgantown. And it wasn’t folks going out to the bars or anything like that, it was people that had gone there for appointments and simply stopped somewhere to get something to eat.

“Then we had one case in the county where a boy’s girlfriend had gone to the beach, contracted it and came back and went canoeing with him. He then got it and the rest of his family as well.”

Health department officials also believe another active Randolph County case can be attributed to community spread. Woodrum said the woman told officials the only place she could recall being at where people were not wearing masks was when she went out to eat locally.

Woodrum said she can’t stress enough the importance of people wearing a mask when out in public and around others.

“Everybody should be wearing a mask,” she explained. “Everyone wants COVID-19 to go just away without any effort. Well, it doesn’t take much effort to put a mask on and wear it.”

There have been no reported deaths in Randolph County to date.

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in West Virginia grew to 108 on Tuesday after two woman, an 83-year-old from Wood County and a 47-year-old from Berkeley County, lost their battle with COVID-19.

The number of cumulative cases in the state, which is currently 6,119, was at just 1,093 three months ago on April 28.

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