COVID-19

PRINCETON — Although no new COVID-19 cases were reported Saturday for Mercer County, the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reported one new death related to the Princeton Health Care Center outbreak for a total of 23 dead.

Mercer County's total amount of cases stood at 290, but the state's DHHR added one new case to the long-term care section of its website. All of the county's 23 deaths have been the result of Princeton Health Care Center's outbreak, according to DHHR. 

Monroe County, also suffering from a nursing home outbreak of its own at the Springfield Center, saw a massive spike in cases, jumping from 95 to 114 in one day. No new death was reported on Saturday, but Monroe County recently saw its fourth resident die as a result of the Springfield Center outbreak, according to the Monroe County Health Department on Friday.

The Saturday surge also saw Monroe County enter the red category for the state's school re-entry metric. At an average of almost 33 cases, Monroe far exceeded the 25-average threshold for in-person instruction to resume. The re-entry metric is based on an average of new reported virus cases. With Logan County being downgraded to orange earlier in the week, Monroe County was the only red county as it stood Saturday afternoon. 

McDowell County's virus numbers remained steady over most of the week. After one new case reported by the county's health department on Tuesday, no new COVID-19 cases have been reported within in the county borders. McDowell has also had no confirmed coronavirus deaths throughout the pandemic. 

West Virginia as a whole was not so lucky, reporting 143 new cases on Saturday, for a total of 9,967. The state edges ever closer to the somber 10,000 case milestone. The Mountain State also reported 10 more virus deaths on Saturday, bringing the statewide death toll to 212. 

The state's academic year is set to begin on September 8. While many counties have fluctuated since the introduction of the re-entry metric, how counties stand as of the September 6 update will determine how, and if, county students will be allowed to return for in-person instruction at the beginning of the school year. 

New cases continued to be reported Saturday in Southwest Virginia counties as well. Tazewell County saw two more cases for a total of 188. No new deaths or hospitalizations were reported by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), leaving those numbers at one and 13 respectively. 

Giles County had four more cases reported as well, raising its total to 41. The county has only reported two hospitalizations according to the VDH, and no deaths thus far.

Wythe County also saw five more cases for a total of 154. Wythe has seen three deaths from the coronavirus and 17 hospitalizations thus far. 

Both Buchanan and Bland counties also reported four new cases each on Saturday, raising their totals to 97 and 46 respectively. While Buchanan has seen one death and six hospitalizations reported during the pandemic, Bland has reported no deaths and only one hospitalization thus far. 

Statewide saw a much larger surge in the Commonwealth. More than 1,200 more cases were reported in Virginia, drastically increasing its total case count to 118,809. The VDH also reported 18 more deaths from the coronavirus, totaling 2,568 Virginians lost to COVID-19 over the course of the pandemic.

— Contact James Trent at jtrent@bdtonline.com

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