Mercer County Health Department

The Mercer County Health Department sign is pictured, Thursday. 


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — The majority of those 404 individuals who participated in a two-day testing session at Bluefield State College are negative for COVID-19, health officials confirmed Friday.

Test results are in for 402 of the 404 people who were tested, and all 402 individuals are negative for the virus, Matthew Bragg, sanitarian for the Mercer County Health Department, said.

The two remaining test results are not yet in.

"Of the 404 individuals tested at Bluefield State College, 402 results have been reported to the health department," Bragg said in his daily COVID-19 update Friday. "All results that have been reported to the health department have been negative for COVID-19 as of 1 p.m. today."

Bragg said all 402 people have been contacted by the health department, either by phone or mail, and informed of the test results.

Bragg said 15 additional test results were still pending with the health department Friday.

The 404 people were tested for the virus on May 23 and May 24 at Bluefield State College, as part of a two-day testing program held in coordination with the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs. Dr. Deidre Guyton, liaison/coordinator of the testing initiative and director of Alumni Affairs at Bluefield State College, said the total number of tests administered during the two-day period was 404.

The current COVID-19 count for Mercer County stands at 13. But 10 of those 13 cases involve individuals who have already recovered from the virus and are now out of quarantine.

Bragg said another three individuals remain in isolation.

Contact tracing numbers for Mercer County also remain largely unchanged.

Bragg said 181 individuals who came into contact at some point with one of the 13 confirmed coronavirus cases were placed in isolation. Of those 181 individuals, 172 have been released from isolation.

Only nine people identified through contact tracing remain in isolation.

No new virus cases were reported Friday in the immediate region.

Both McDowell and Monroe counties are still holding at six cases, and Tazewell County is still reporting six cases. Giles County still has five cases and Buchanan County still has 18. Bland County still has no virus cases.

— Contact Charles Owens at

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