Community wide testing for COVID-19 continues in McDowell County

MCDOWELL COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – As we head into the weekend, McDowell County pushes forward with COVID-19 testing despite low numbers.

The county has had a total of 6 cases, which have all recovered after being reported near the beginning of the pandemic.

“As the governor said, West Virginians have done a great job,” said health department administrator J.J. Rose. “McDowell countians have done a great job staying at home, social distancing, doing what they’re supposed to. I definitely appreciate everybody doing that and that’s why, I think, we’ve done a great job of keeping our numbers down.”

The health department now works to test minorities other vulnerable populations. On Friday, they set up in Gary. Tomorrow, the health department will test again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Keystone City Hall.

“As you’ve seen in West Virginia and in other states, the percent of positives is higher than the percent of the actual population for the minority population in West Virginia and other states. We’re just trying to get some more numbers to figure out if there is something [going on]. We’re trying to do some testing in those minority areas and hopefully we get some better numbers to put into the plot.”

As the state opens, there is some concern about more cases popping up, but Rose says you can avoid spreading the virus by continuing to follow guidelines.

“We just want people to realize that it’s still here and that they need to still keep that mask on if you’re in a crowd. We’ve seen some examples of where people can’t stand six feet apart and can’t get that social distancing. We’re still hoping people wash their hands. That’s good any time. I’m hoping that continues.”

Testing is free and available by walk-up and drive-thru. All you need is a form of ID.

“You’re just going to fill out paperwork. It’s one sheet. You get that filled out, you go to the next station. That’s where they do the swab, and once that’s done, you’re gone. You never get out of your car. You don’t have to get out and mingle with other people or anything like that.”

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com