By Liz Beavers

Tribune Managing Editor

KEYSER - A third Keyser High School football player has tested positive for COVID-19, classifying the incidence at KHS as an official outbreak, according to the Mineral County Health Department.

A.Jay Root, health department administrator, confirmed the positive early Wednesday afternoon, explaining that the third case "classifieds this an an official outbreak with the West Virginia DHHR Bureau for Public Health’s Division of Infectious Disease Epidemiology."

Root had announced July 23 that two Mineral County students had tested positive, prompting superintendent of schools Troy Ravenscroft to suspend all athletic and extracurricular activities through Aug. 7.

Ravenscroft said the decision to suspend activities would be re-evaluated during the week of Aug. 3.

Root said the health department is working closely with Mineral County Schools, the KHS staff, and the positive students to identify any potential persons who may have had close contact with them, including team members, faculty, family members and friends.

The students are currently in isolation and are being monitored by the health department.

"Additionally, environmental cleaning is underway at the Keyser High School complex," Root said.

"Mineral County has almost doubled its cases in the month of July," Root continued. "As of today, the case count is 103 individuals. This is up from 55 on June 30. The active case count has also increased from four to 23.

"These cases are a result of community spread.

"The health department is asking everyone to protect our community by social distancing, washing your hands and wearing a mask," he said. "These three things are still the best way to not only protect yourselves but protect others in the community."

For further information on COVID-19, visit www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment. com.

There have also been four deaths of Mineral County residents attributed to COVID-related issues.