By CHARLES OWENS

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

LINDSIDE — Health officials in Monroe County reported a fifth COVID-19 death Monday as Mercer County exceeded 300 coronavirus cases.

The Monroe County Health Department said the county’s fifth death also is associated with the Springfield Center, a long-term care nursing home that is dealing with a significant COVID-19 outbreak.

“It is with great regret that we have to announce Monroe County’s fifth death related to COVID-19, a 72 year old female resident from Springfield Center,” the health department said in a statement. “Our sincerest condolences to his family.”

Monore County is now up to a cumulative total of 120 COVID-19 cases. Of that number, 80 are considered active and 36 involve individuals who have already recovered from the virus. Another seven individuals remain hospitalized in Monroe County as a result of COVID-19.

The health department said 72 of the cases are located inside of the Springfield Center where 29 employees and 43 residents have contracted COVID-19. All five deaths in Monroe County are associated with the nursing home.

Mercer County also hit another unwanted milestone Monday by topping 300 virus cases. The county’s cumulative virus count as of Monday morning stood at 310 virus cases (two of those are considered probable cases) along with 23 deaths, all from the Princeton Health Care Center, also a COVID-19 outbreak site.

Mercer County data ...

Graphic courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

In a statement issued last week, Stephanie Compton, administrator of the Princeton Health Care Center, said one of the 23 deaths was not from the Princeton-based nursing home. Compton instead said the death occurred in Kanawha County, but she didn’t provide further explanation or details. However, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources was still reporting Monday morning that all 23 deaths in Mercer County were from the Princeton Health Care Center.

The DHHR is the official reporting source for all COVID-19 data in West Virginia.

According to the DHHR, 170 of Mercer County’s 310 cases are considered active. Another 117 people have recovered from the virus and 23 have died in Mercer County.

In neighboring Virginia, Tazewell County is slowly closing in on 200 virus cases. The county’s cumulative total Monday morning stood at 189 cases with one death and 14 hospitalizations. And Buchanan County is approaching 100 virus cases, reporting a cumulative total Monday morning of 99 cases with one death.

— Contact Charles Owens at cowens@bdtonline.com

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