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Update: Eighth dies of COVID-19, five more test positive

Update: Eighth dies of COVID-19, five more test positive

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Another McDowell resident has died from COVID-19, bringing the local total to eight, officials said Tuesday.

In addition, the McDowell County Health Department was notified that five additional McDowell County residents tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). 

“McDowell County Public Health and the Emergency Operations Center continue to aggressively test the community to identify positive COVID-19 individuals,” said Public Health Director Karen Powell. “It is critical to test so that positive individuals can be quarantined. Once we can quarantine an entire household, we can stop transmission from that source. Every time you leave your home, you are vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Please continue to wear a mask, wash your hands and avoid mass gatherings. We are dedicated and committed to keeping you safe and protecting the community. McDowell County continues to be strong! Who are you wearing your mask for?”

This brings the total number of positives to 435 in McDowell County. There have been 7,752 people tested, 6,655 negative results and 662 tests are pending results. Presently, there are 144 individuals in quarantine, 283 out of quarantine and eight deaths, according to a news release.

Public Health along with Emergency Management continue to monitor two separate outbreaks in McDowell County. As of Tuesday afternoon, a total of 22 residents and 16 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19 at Deer Park Health & Rehab. Two residents and one staff member remain hospitalized. Sadly, three residents at Deer Park have died due to COVID-19.

The second outbreak at Early Childhood Enrichment Center, located on Robert Street in Marion, remains stable with two staff members and three children testing positive for COVID-19. The Health Department is working diligently to get in touch with all contacts of positives to offer testing.

Health officials continue to quarantine all positives for 14 days. It is critical for Public Health to be ahead of the transmission risk by isolating anyone who has been exposed.

“We cannot lose focus of this serious situation, which is to stop the transmission of COVID-19 and to save lives,” reads a statement from the Health Department.

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 8 a.m. to 8 p.m, seven days per week. If you are having a medical emergency, call 911 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Additional statistics related to COVID-19 testing in McDowell County can be found by visiting

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

• McDowell County Health Department; Friday, July 31, from 9-11 a.m.

• McDowell County Health Department; Monday, Aug. 3, from 9-11 a.m.

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