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KEYSER, W.Va. — Mineral County health officials reported three more deaths linked to COVID-19 on Wednesday, boosting the county’s pandemic death toll to 96.

The latest fatalities are part of an ongoing summer surge of coronavirus infections driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

The county health department identified the victims in a news release as an 81-year-old man, an 87-year-old man and a 69-year-old woman.

Health officials have announced four virus-related deaths this week. On Monday, officials announced the death of another 81-year-old man.

Before this week, the last county resident to die from the virus or its complications was on June 30.

There were 548 active cases of the virus in Mineral County on Wednesday. West Virginia University Medicine Potomac Valley Hospital reported 12 COVID-19 patients were being treated at that facility, while 893 virus patients were being treated at hospitals statewide, according to state data.

There were 73 positive virus cases — 68 students and five employees — within Mineral County schools, Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft reported Wednesday. The total was eight more than last week. Another 212 students and 14 employees were quarantined because of contact with positive cases. That total (226) was down 14 from last week.

There were three classroom outbreaks within the school system — three at Keyser Middle School, which is utilizing remote learning through Friday, and one at Burlington Primary.

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