McDowell's coronavirus cases jump 10 to 61. Health official blames 'mass gatherings'
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McDowell's coronavirus cases jump 10 to 61. Health official blames 'mass gatherings'

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The McDowell County Health Department has been notified that 10 additional McDowell County residents have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the known total to 61.

The initial investigation reveals the source of transmission to be contact with other positives. Public health staff have already initiated an investigation and will be identifying close contacts to contain the spread of disease. To protect individual privacy, no further information about the case will be released.

There have been 1,187 people tested, 913 negative results and 213 tests are pending results. Currently, there are 30 individuals in quarantine, 30 out of quarantine and one death.

“The new results are clearly from contacts with other positives and community transmission. In addition, we can confidently say that these positives are a result of mass gatherings,” stated Public Health Director Karen Powell.

The McDowell County Health Department is working diligently to get in touch with all contacts of positives to offer testing. In addition, positives are being quarantined for 14 days.

“We must stay vigilant in social distancing, good hygiene and using protective measures to keep ourselves safe. We cannot lose focus of this serious situation, which is to stop the transmission of COVID-19 and to save lives. Your Public Health team is dedicated and committed to keeping you safe and protecting the community. McDowell County is strong, and we will get through these unprecedented times.”

The Health Department is continuing to test individuals for COVID-19. If an individual would like to be tested, they can call the hotline at (828) 527- 6687. The operator will ask a list of questions and will provide the caller with the appropriate instructions based upon the answers given. The hours of operation for this hotline are 8AM – 8PM, 7 days per week. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Citizens can utilize an online COVID-19 screening tool by going to https://mcdowell.clearstep.health/ and completing the assessment. Additional statistics related to COVID-19 testing in McDowell County can be found by visiting http://www.mcdowellem.com/covid.html

Free COVID-19 testing will be conducted next week at the following locations via a drive-thru setup:

• Addie's Chapel; Monday, June 1st, from 9am-12pm; located at 201 Ridley Street in Marion

• Our Lady of the Angels; Thursday, June 4th, from 2pm-5pm; located at 290 North Garden St. in Marion

• McDowell High School; Friday, June 5th, from 9am-1pm

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