GRUNDY, Va. — Two more positive COVID-19 cases have been reported at the Mountain Mission School in Buchanan County as a result of Virginia’s “point-prevalent” testing program.
Chris Mitchell, president of the residential school, said neither of the cases had exhibited any symptoms at all.
“We engaged with the health department with a point-prevalent test,” he said, referring to Virginia’s Point-Prevalence Surveys (PPS) program to return to an outbreak in a congregate setting and test all residents and staff. “They tested the entire campus.”
Mountain Mission, which is home to nearly 200 children from ages 2 to 20 from throughout the United States and several foreign countries, is the site of 17 of the 18 positive cases in Buchanan County.
The original case that preceded the outbreak was reported in early April.
Mitchell said both new positive cases were asymptomatic, which has been the case in most of the positives there.
All 15 of the other positive cases “have passed all of the requirements, plus more,” he said, and have been released from quarantine. No one has had to be hospitalized.
“We have been blessed to have Dr. Sue Cantrell with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) helping us,” he said. “They have been a real asset to us, a real help.”
Virginia also on Tuesday reported its first case of a syndrome in children associated with COVD-19.
According to VDH, the Fairfax Health District has confirmed a case of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. This is the first case of MIS-C reported in Virginia. The child was hospitalized on May 5 and has since been discharged and is recovering at home.
MIS-C, previously called Pediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, is a new health condition associated with COVID-19. The first reports of this syndrome came from the United Kingdom in late April. U.S. cases were first reported in New York City in early May.
MIS-C may cause problems with a child’s heart and other organs. Most children with MIS-C have fever lasting several days and may show symptoms of irritability or decreased activity, abdominal pain without another explanation, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, conjunctivitis, lack of appetite, red or cracked lips, red or bumpy tongue, or swollen hands and feet.
“I urge all health care providers in Virginia to immediately report any patient who meets these criteria to the local health department by the most rapid means,” said Dr. Norm Oliver, Virginia Health Commissioner. “All Virginians should take steps to avoid exposure to COVID-19 by practicing social distancing, frequent hand washing and wearing cloth face coverings if appropriate.” Cloth face coverings are not recommended for children under 2 years old.
The number of positive cases in other area Virginia counties have remained the same, except Wythe County, which saw one more, bringing the total to 16. Wythe County has also had one hospitalization and one death.
Tazewell County remains at six and Giles County at five. Bland County is one of only three counties in the commonwealth to report no positive cases.
In West Virginia, 10 of the 13 positive cases in Mercer County have been released from isolation and 172 of the 181 contacts associated with those cases have now been released from isolation.
The Mercer County Health Department is waiting on the results from 414 pending tests, with 404 of those conducted Friday and Saturday at Bluefield State College as a result of a community testing initiative through the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), the National Guard, the health department (led the incident command) and coordinated through the state Office of Minority Affairs.
— Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com