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WILLIAMSON — More than 500 Mingo County residents have now contracted and made a full recovery from the novel coronavirus since the pandemic started in the spring of 2020.

According to the West Virginia Department of Human Resources, as of 10 a.m. Monday, 511 people have been reported as recovered by the Mingo County Health Department.

Also, positive tests numbered out of a total of 10,015 tests administered for Mingo County residents.

The Mingo County Health Department also confirmed this past week a 12th Mingo resident had died due to complications from the coronavirus.

The victim was a 67-year-old male who died at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington. He made the second COVID-19 related death in Mingo County in the month of November.

The MCHD reported on Nov. 12 that 161 total positive cases had been confirmed in Mingo County in November, which puts the county on pace for its highest single-month total. Eighty-six new cases alone were confirmed in Mingo County residents from Monday, Nov. 9, to Sunday, Nov. 16, according to the WVDHHR.

The Mingo County Health Department has been ramping up the free testing sites across the county and encouraging people to get out and test in an attempt to find asymptomatic spreaders and help Mingo County students get back in school, after the county was once again red on Saturday’s state COVID-19 metric map.

The infection rate in Mingo County remains high as of Monday morning at 52.46. The infection rates calculate the amount of positive cases a county would see daily if it populated 100,000 people.

Due to the uptick in testing numbers, Mingo County was able to lower their positivity rate to 5.77 putting them into orange status on the county alert system map, which is updated daily.

If the positivity rate lowers below 5 by the time the new education map is released Saturday, Mingo County students would be permitted to return to in-person school for the first time in nearly two months.

Due to the county being deemed one of the highest risk for COVID-19 spread due to the metric maps, school has been held virtually in Mingo County for the majority of 2020, and a large amount of extra curricular events have not been permitted.

The Mingo County Health Department is encouraging residents to get out and test at one of the several free testing sites offered locally, so that the kids in Mingo County can get back to school. They said they currently have a goal of testing about 1,000 county residents per week.

“Your test results are needed to contribute, therefore we ask that everyone test at a local provider, hospital, clinic, pharmacy or free testing sites so your tests are added to our goal of over 1,000 tests per week,” a post on the MCHD Facebook page read.

“When we go out of state to one of the franchise testing clinics and receive the rapid antigen test, it does not get counted toward reducing our positivity rate, getting our schools reopened or helping our student-athletes. Please test locally and have your test counted.”

The health department is urging the community to continue to practice social distancing, wear face coverings, if possible, and obey all governor’s executive orders.

The Mingo County Health Department along with the West Virginia National Guard is offering free COVID-19 testing sites across the county on a daily basis.

For locations and times of the testing sites, visit the health department Facebook page.

For more information about COVID-19 visit the WV DHHR at www.coronavirus.wv.gov or the CDC at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. For any remaining questions, you may also call the Mingo County Health Department at 304-235-3570.

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