CHARLESTON – Representatives of the West Virginia DHHR and National Guard will be in Mineral County later this month to assist local authorities in conducting testing for the coronavirus.

By Liz Beavers


lbeavers@newstribune.info


Tribune Managing Editor


CHARLESTON – Representatives of the West Virginia DHHR and National Guard will be in Mineral County later this month to assist local authorities in conducting testing for the coronavirus.


Mineral County has been identified as one of the areas in West Virginia in which the amount of positive COVID-19 cases is currently undergoing a sharp increase, and was therefore chosen for the testing.


According to health department administrator A.Jay Root, two additional positive test results were reported Thursday, bringing the total number to 27 for Mineral County.


The upcoming testing is part of the plan announced Thursday by Gov. Jim Justice and the West DHHR announced to increase COVID-19 testing opportunities for minorities and other vulnerable populations in medically-underserved counties.


The plan was developed by the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs, DHHR and WV National Guard (WVNG) and targets residents who have struggled to be seen by a physician or do not have insurance to pay for testing. This optional testing will be free and available to all residents in selected counties, including asymptomatic individuals.


Testing will be prioritized for counties with higher cases of positive COVID-19 transmission, including Berkeley, Cabell, Fayette, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Mercer, Monongalia and Raleigh, in addition to Mineral.


The testing in Mineral County is scheduled for May 29-30 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a location to be announced.


Identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, will be required to be tested. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.


Berkeley, Jefferson, Mercer and Raleigh counties will be tested on May 15-16; Cabell, Kanawha, Marion, and Monongalia counties on May 22-23, 2020; and Fayette, Kanawha and Mineral counties on May 29-30.


"This effort aligns with Governor Justice’s strategy to increase testing among vulnerable populations to more effectively slow the spread of this disease," said Dr. Cathy Slemp, state health officer and commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health.


"Gov. Justice directed the DHHR to develop an advisory group to assist in community outreach and education related to COVID-19 in African Americans, Latinos and other minorities in the state of West Virginia. We’re getting the word out about how important testing is in these communities and now we’re ready to put our plan into action to help save lives."