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SHORT GAP, W.Va. — Five Mineral County schools that were closed on Thursday will remain so today, officials announced, after two more cases of COVID-19 were confirmed.

Extracurricular activities for Thursday and Friday night within the district were also canceled, per a Thursday afternoon release from Mineral County Schools.

A student at Frankfort Middle School and a student at Frankfort High School reportedly tested positive Thursday. Thus, Frankfort district schools — those two, plus Fort Ashby Primary, Wiley Ford Primary and Frankfort Intermediate — will remain closed Friday for contact tracing and in the interest of “exercising an abundance of caution,” per the release.

Two students and an itinerant teacher at the high school first tested positive on Wednesday, leading to Thursday’s virtual learning day for the district. Friday will be a distance learning day as well.

“I’ve said it before: I don’t care what you think of COVID, it’s at (bare minimum) a numbers game,” Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft said in statements on social media late Wednesday.

“To win the ‘numbers game’, we must keep our interactive circles small, avoid unnecessary contact, and follow CDC/DHHR guidelines. As you can imagine, it’s frustrating for our schools, our students, and athletes — because in every instance we have been the ‘effect’ and not the ‘cause’. If you want kids in school/sports, please help by avoiding unnecessary contact, crowds, and following guidance.”

Cases in Mineral County have risen sharply throughout the course of October. On Oct. 1, per the county health department’s Facebook account, Mineral County had seen 174 total cases, four of which were active at that time. As of Wednesday night, 236 people have tested positive for the disease, and 29 cases were active.

Mineral County health officials do not report how many hospitalizations have been added in their daily updates, and the state reports only statewide numbers. To date, four county residents have died.

Lindsay Renner-Wood is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News, covering West Virginia and more. Follow her on Twitter @LindsayRenWood, email lrenner-wood@times-news.com or call 304-639-4403.

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