Health director asks residents to follow guidelines as Mingo County schools go remote

Coronavirus and schools
Coronavirus and schools(KWCH)
Published: Oct. 12, 2020 at 10:49 AM EDT
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MINGO COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Mingo County students won’t be in classrooms this week after the county turned red on the school map.

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, as of October 11th, the county’s percent positivity was 9.49 and their infection rate was 27.44.

Keith Blankenship with the Mingo County Health Department said there are tight-knit communities in the county.

“We are a very loving community in Mingo County and we have a tendency to shake hands and hug to be very, very social,” said Blankenship.

“They’re still not buying into quarantine policies from the CDC,” said Blankenship.

He is asking people to help stop the spread of the virus as case numbers put Mingo County in the red on the school map and keep schools from opening their doors.

Mingo County has transitioned from remote to in-person learning multiple times.

Schools in the district are also seeing a spike in cases.

“The close contact of those people are in the hundreds,” said Blankenship.

One area he said the county needs to improve on is churches. He said some are not following recommendations for social distancing and capacity limits.

“The number of the people in the churches exceed the recommendations so we need those type of situations to do better,” said Blankenship.

Mingo County added two free testing days, Saturday and Sunday, last week when they realized they would probably go orange.

Blankenship said testing more should bring down the positivity rate.

“Sadly, that is not happening right now. At one of the test sites this weekend, our positivity rate is going to be about 5 percent,” said Blankenship.

Blankenship is asking people to follow guidelines to stop spreading COVID-19 and he says that’ll get kids back in the classroom when the school map is updated.

There is one outbreak currently in Mingo County and that is at Kermit Prek-8.

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