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WILLIAMSON — Patients numbering 248 were tested for the novel coronavirus over a two-day span this past week at a free drive-thru COVID-19 testing site at Williamson Health and Wellness Center, according to Mingo County Health Department Administrator Anthony Keith Blankenship.

Three positive results had already been returned from the 248 tested, according to a press release issued on Monday by the Health Department.

The infected patients are all female, ages 33, 61 and 65. All three of the patients are experiencing symptoms, and all three are isolating themselves at home with their respective families.

All three of the patients were close contacts with a prior positive case of coronavirus in Mingo County.

This community-based drive-thru or walk-thru test site was coordinated in compliance with the Governor Jim Justice’s initiative to increase the COVID-19 testing opportunities for minorities and other vulnerable populations throughout the Coalfields.

This community test site was made possible by the cooperation of the WV DHHR, WV Center for Threat Preparedness, WV National Guard, Mingo County Commission, City of Williamson, Williamson Health and Wellness Center, Logan Mingo Area Mental Health, Mingo County Sheriff’s Department, Mingo County Emergency Services, and the Mingo County Health Department.

This testing option is not meant to replace or eliminate the other testing avenues offered by many local healthcare providers, but is meant to supplement those options in order to ease some of the pressure on the existing system.

Logan Mingo Area Mental Health provided transportation to and from the testing site for those in need.

The latest numbers provided by the MCHD on Monday said that Mingo County has tested 1,469 people with 20 total coronavirus cases, of which 17 are positive cases and 3 probable cases. There have been 1,449 negative cases, 11 people have recovered, and the county has experienced two COVID-19 related deaths. That leaves seven current active cases in Mingo County.

Across the Tug River in nearby Pike County, Kentucky, health officials announced more than a dozen additional cases of COVID-19 over the weekend and urged residents not to travel.

Since Friday, Pike County had confirmed 13 cases of the coronavirus, according to the Pike County Health Department, bringing the county’s total to 84 cases.

PCHD director Tammy Riley said many of the cases were related to each other and to hot spots in popular vacation destinations in the Carolinas and Florida.

Riley urged citizens not to travel anywhere unless it is “absolutely necessary.” She said if you do have to travel, please use extreme caution and take all precautionary measures.

Riley said the age of the new patients ranged from minors to 80 years old.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.