CUMBERLAND — COVID-19 cases continued to surge around the area Friday, with Allegany County adding 19 cases, Mineral edging toward a total of 200 and Garrett nearing 100.
“I am very concerned that a continued surge in cases will require reimposing restrictions that we have worked so hard to relax,” Garrett County Health Officer Bob Stephens said. “If we as a community want our businesses, schools and churches to remain open, we need to renew our efforts to keep Garrett County safe and healthy.”
The Allegany County Health Department had last reported case totals Wednesday, and has reported 49 positive cases since Oct. 9. The county’s cumulative total Friday was 570.
The latest cases involve six females and one male in their teens, three men in their 20s, a woman and two men in their 30s, a man in his 40s, a woman in her 50s, two men in their 60s and two men in their 70s.
Also Friday, Allegany County Public Schools said two people within the school system had tested positive for the virus this week, but didn’t say whether they were a teacher or student or what school building they were in.
It was the first reported cases by the school system, which said in a news release it would begin reporting weekly virus totals within county school buildings each Friday.
“In both cases it was determined that there were no close contacts within the school(s), and no students or staff were quarantined as a result of these positive cases,” read the release.
Mineral’s cases climbed by two Friday, to 197, and have risen by 20 in eight days, according to health officials. Active cases dropped two Friday, however, to 16.
The county’s status on West Virginia’s daily color-coded County Alert Map, which identifies levels of community transmission, was yellow (increased) on Friday.
Garrett County added seven cases Friday, raising its cumulative total to 95.
“We are currently experiencing a surge in cases in Garrett County,” Stephens said. “Contact tracing continues to reveal that the primary spread is through family, friends and social gatherings. As the restrictions have been relaxed, it is more important than ever that community members be compliant with social distancing and face covering practices to prevent the spread of COVID.”
The latest cases included two women in their 40s, a man in his 60s, two male teens, one female teen and one woman in her 50s.
Garrett County Public Schools said Friday that two more people within the school system had tested positive.
The case is the fourth in a week in the school system, but officials didn’t identify whether the individual was a student or staff member, or the location involved. The individual is out of the building and quarantining, according to a news release.