BLUEFIELD — The Mercer County Health Department confirmed Wednesday afternoon that a third case of COVID-19 has been identified in Mercer County.
“There is one new positive case of COVID-19 in Mercer County,” Matt Bragg, sanitarian, and media liaison at the Mercer County Health Department said. “The individual has been quarantined at home and the individual’s contacts have been notified and they are self-quarantining at home as well.”
The Mercer County Health Department received the information from the state on Tuesday night around 10 p.m. The patient was in isolation before the COVID-19 test came back positive.
“I know they were isolated before the test information came back but I do not know how long before,” Bragg said.
Bragg said the new Mercer County case is travel related. He could not say if it involved international or domestic travel.
Bragg said the individual started displaying symptoms on March 28, and was tested the same day.
“The third case is travel-related and symptoms started presenting on the 28th of March, Saturday of last month,” Bragg said. “They were tested the same day and we got the results back last night.”
No further information was available on the third Mercer County COVID-19 case Wednesday afternoon.
Bragg also said that the other two positive cases of COVID-19 in Mercer County were released from self-isolation on Wednesday morning.
“That brings us to three total positive cases, however, the first two cases are now off of quarantine but are still subject to the stay at home order, as are the rest of us,” Bragg said. “They have to be 14 days symptom free and right now they are not doing any extra testing.”
As for the process of releasing COVID-19 cases from isolation, Bragg responded that the public health nurse, regional epidemiologist and the doctors that see the patients all have to agree to take them off.
“They are on quarantine for 14 days, they have to get through their quarantine and they have to be three days symptom free,” Bragg said. “Once they go through their quarantine period, make sure they’re not breaking quarantine, once they go through their quarantine period, and they are three days symptom free, then they are off quarantine.”
Bragg also stated that the Mercer County Health Department is working toward appointing a deputy administrator.
“The administration and the board of health are working through a process of selecting a deputy administrator and going to get it done as soon as possible, to help sure up and make sure connection is all good,” Bragg said.
In addition, Bragg responded to a Tuesday question about five-minute testing kits for COVID-19 coming to Mercer County.
“We have no new information on obtaining any of the new five minute test kits,” Bragg said. “Those kits are likely to go to hotspot states first.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported 191 total positive cases of COVID-19, 4,384 total negative cases and two deaths in the mountain state.
— Contact Emily Rice at email@example.com