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KEYSER, W.Va. — Six more deaths attributed to COVID-19 have been reported in Mineral County since Monday evening.

The county health department announced three deaths Monday and three Tuesday, raising the county toll to 14.

Four of the dead were residents of Piney Valley Nursing Home in Keyser, the site of an ongoing outbreak that has seen 70 residents and 34 employees test positive. Seven residents have died.

A 70-year-old man and a 73-year-old man who were not residents of the nursing home also died from the disease, health officials said. Both men had been hospitalized.

The health department also reported Tuesday evening a coronavirus outbreak involving three employees at Sealed Air in Keyser. Contract tracing was underway.

As of Tuesday morning, the state Department of Health and Human Resources reported Mineral County’s infection rate was 193.54 per 100,000 population and its percent positivity 13.76%.

During a press conference Monday afternoon, Gov. Jim Justice identified Mineral County as one of the counties in the state where officials are considering “additional modifications” to public health procedures and guidelines.

Health administrator A. Jay Root declined Monday to say what measures were being considered, but confirmed that talks were underway with state health officials. While that’s happening, Root said, residents are urged to reconsider any Thanksgiving plans they may have and continue following existing guidelines.

“At this point, we are working with state leadership on additional guidance (possibly mitigation measures) to help slow the spread of this virus,” Root wrote in an email. “We still know that properly wearing masks, social distancing, washing your hands and avoiding group gatherings is the best way to help the community. The health department would ask to follow this guidance and really think about upcoming holiday plans and make adjustments as much as possible.”

As of Wednesday morning, Mineral County had 969 total cases, of which 422 were active. Another 540 have recovered.

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

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