Three Fayette County residents lost their lives to COVID-19 this past weekend.
The county's first two deaths due to COVID-19 complications were reported on Saturday, May 16. A third death of a county resident was reported on Sunday, May 17.
In its evening update on Saturday, May 16, a West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources press release confirmed the death of an 89-year-old Fayette County man.
A subsequent press release from the Fayette County Health Department confirmed that death and also the passing of an 85-year-old Fayette County woman from COVID-19. Both individuals passed away on Saturday.
The man died at Montgomery General Hospital, and the woman died at CAMC, according to Teri Harlan, administrator of the Fayette County Health Department. In some capacity, both deaths were connected to confirmed cases at Montgomery General. Harlan declined to release their towns of residence.
"I extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones during this time of loss," Dr. Anita Stewart, Fayette County health officer, said in the release. "The friends and families are in our thoughts and our prayers.”
"As of yesterday, we had zero deaths reported due to COVID-19 and today we have two," Harlan said in the Saturday release. "These deaths should remind us of just how important it is to continue working to protect one another during this pandemic."
A third Fayette County resident died from COVID-19, officials confirmed on Sunday, May 17.
Both the Fayette County Health Department and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Sunday reported the death of a 69-year-old Fayette County man.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family," read a Facebook post from the FCHD.
"We regret to report two more deaths of West Virginians and wish their families our sincere condolences," said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary.
Through Sunday evening, Fayette County's total confirmed cases remained at 38. In addition to the three reported deaths, five patients remain hospitalized, 14 individuals are at home and 16 have recovered, the health department reported on its Facebook page.
"Please keep those families in your thoughts and prayers," the FCHD post read. "Continue to encourage good social distancing/face coverings/hand and surface hygiene."
The health department continues to investigate all cases, Harlan said. All confirmed cases will be isolated and close contacts are quarantined. The health department asks that the community continue to practice physical distancing and wear a face covering when you are around others. If you have questions or feel the need to be tested, contact your primary care provider or the FCHD at 304-574-1617.
COVID-19 testing was slated to continue this week in Fayette County. Along the testing front, Harlan reported that all 183 COVID-19 tests logged on Wednesday, May 13 in Smithers by the Fayette County COVID-19 Task Force in partnership with Smithers Mayor Dr. Anne Cavalier and Montgomery Mayor Greg Ingram have been tabulated, with just one positive case reported.
And, earlier last week, the FCHD tested employees and residents at two assisted living facilities — Kyle's Place and Gauley River Assisted Living — and no positive cases were discovered at either location. Testing at Oak Hill Place, another assisted living facility, was planned for Monday, May 18.
As of its evening report on Monday, May 18, the DHHR said there had been 77,760 lab results received for COVID-19, with 1,502 positive, 76,258 negative and 68 deaths.
On May 18, the DHHR confirmed the death of an 86-year old female from Kanawha County. "Please join with me as we grieve the loss of another West Virginian," said Crouch.
Confirmed cases through the evening of May 18 included: Barbour (7), Berkeley (215), Boone (9), Braxton (2), Brooke (3), Cabell (56), Calhoun (2), Clay (2), Fayette (38), Gilmer (8), Grant (6), Greenbrier (9), Hampshire (12), Hancock (12), Hardy (31), Harrison (35), Jackson (135), Jefferson (101), Kanawha (203), Lewis (5), Lincoln (5), Logan (15), Marion (48), Marshall (25), Mason (15), McDowell (6), Mercer (13), Mineral (29), Mingo (3), Monongalia (116), Monroe (6), Morgan (17), Nicholas (9), Ohio (37), Pendleton (5), Pleasants (2), Pocahontas (8), Preston (15), Putnam (29), Raleigh (12), Randolph (7), Ritchie (1), Roane (9), Summers (1), Taylor (8), Tucker (4), Tyler (3), Upshur (6), Wayne (96), Wetzel (7), Wirt (3), Wood (48) and Wyoming (3).
A dashboard at www.coronavirus.wv.gov has more information on statewide testing results.
Also, as part of Gov. Jim Justice's initiative to increase testing opportunities for minorities and other vulnerable populations, the governor's office, DHHR, the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs and the WV National Guard offered free testing in medically underserved counties on Friday, May 15 and Saturday, May 16. Totals for the two-day testing were as follows: 872 tested in Berkeley County, 748 in Jefferson County, 364 in Mercer County, and 404 in Raleigh County.
Additional testing will be held for Cabell, Kanawha, Marion and Monongalia counties on May 22 and 23 and Fayette, Kanawha and Mineral counties on May 29 and 30. Visit https://dhhr.wv.gov/News/2020/Pages/Testing-Opportunities-for-Minorities-and-Other-Vulnerable-Populations.aspx to learn more.
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