Mineral County has 3 COVID outbreaks, shuts down restaurant
By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Three outbreaks, a restaurant closure and a total of 48 new active COVID-19 cases kept Mineral County Health Department officials busy Tuesday on what could easily be described as Mineral County’s worst day yet since the pandemic started in March.
The outbreaks occurred at New Creek Primary School, where two students in the same classroom tested positive, at the Catamount Daycare Center, where two employees tested positive, and on the Frankfort football team, where another person associated with the team also tested positive.
Health department administrator A.Jay Root explained to the News Tribune Tuesday that, in order for a situation to be considered an outbreak, the persons who tested positive must have had a connection with each other, such as being in the same class or associated with a team.
Earlier this week an outbreak was declared with the Frankfort volleyball team for the same reasons.
In regard to the Catamount Daycare Center, the health department is advising anyone who may have visited the center between Nov. 4-9 that they might have come in contact with one or both of the positive cases. Anyone who develops any symptoms should contact the health department at 304-788-1321 or their local health care provider, or stop by one of the testing sites being offered this week at the Mineral County Tech Center and Mineral County Fairgrounds.
A second employee of Keyser Middle School also tested positive, but Root said that does not meet the criteria for an outbreak because “the cases do not have an epidemiological link.”
In addition, Keyser McDonald’s was closed down Tuesday when two employees tested positive for COVID-19.
“The health department believes the risk to the public is low, however, as McDonald’s was following the State of West Virginia and CDC guidance regarding employees wearing masks and gloves while working in the establishment,” Root said.
The time frame in question for McDonald’s is Oct. 31 through Nov. 11. Anyone who may have visited the restaurant in that time frame may have come in contact with one of the positive cases.
Root issued a plea Tuesday evening for “people to get serious” about taking precautions against the virus.
“We had 48 new cases today,” he said Tuesday.
Mineral County residents are urged to wear their masks in public, practice social distancing, and frequently wash their hands.
Across the Potomac in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan Tuesday began tightening guidelines back up for the state, including reducing the capacity in restaurants, bars and similar businesses by 50% and keeping gatherings of any kind to 25 people or less.