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Update: One additional death due to COVID-19, 35 more McDowell residents test positive
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Update: One additional death due to COVID-19, 35 more McDowell residents test positive

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Update: One additional death due to COVID-19, 35 more McDowell residents test positive

The McDowell County Health Department said Wednesday that 35 additional McDowell County residents have tested positive for novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Health officials also reported one additional death due to COVID-19.

That brought the total number of positives to 1,880 in McDowell County. There had been 24,726 people tested, 22,252 negative results and 594 tests are pending results. As of Thursday's news release, there are 308 individuals in quarantine, 1,532 out of quarantine and 40 deaths, according to a news release.

“Widespread community transmission of COVID-19 is occurring across McDowell County,” said Public Health Director Karen Powell. “The 14-day positivity rate for McDowell County is currently 12.7%. We encourage anyone who thinks they may have been exposed or is having COVID-19 symptoms to please come and get tested. It is our first defense on stopping the spread of the virus. Please stay vigilant and wear a mask when you are out in the community. By wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing we can reverse these concerning trends.”

Emergency Services and Public Health staff continue to work seven days a week responding to this pandemic. Both agencies continue to offer assistance and logistical support to facilities that are experiencing current outbreaks of COVID-19. Outbreaks are defined by DHHS as: two or more cases of COVID-19 in a congregate living facility within 28 days.

The current outbreaks in McDowell County are:

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• Rose Hill Retirement Community: a total of four staff member positives and one resident have tested positive. Three staff members have recovered.

• Autumn Care of Marion: a total of 32 staff and 66 residents have tested positive. A total of 60 residents and 30 staff members have recovered since testing positive for COVID-19. A total of six residents have died due to COVID-19.

• Marion Correctional Institution: a total of 17 staff members and eight inmates have tested positive. A total of 11 staff members have recovered.

The McDowell County COVID-19 Hotline continues to operate seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The COVID-19 Hotline number is 828-527-6687. The Spanish line can be reached by calling 828-460-1256. The operator will ask a list of questions and will provide the caller with the appropriate instructions based upon the answers given. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and inform the dispatcher that you have symptoms of COVID-19.

To view McDowell County’s COVID-19 Data Dashboard, visit http://www.mcdowellem.com/covid-19-information.html Free COVID-19 testing will be conducted at the following locations via a drive-thru setup:

• McDowell County Health Department; Friday, Dec. 4 from 9 to 11 a.m.

• McDowell County Health Department; Monday, Dec. 7 from 9 to 11 a.m.

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