Mercer County officials urge caution after seeing nine new COVID-19 cases in four days

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Mercer County has seen nine new cases of COVID-19 pop up in the past four days.

Some of the county’s new cases are casual occurrences while others are travel related. Mercer County Commissioner Greg Puckett says it was just a matter of time until spikes of new cases began to pop up. 

“All of Southern West Virginia is starting to see the spikes. We saw this across the state. Several people had gone to different areas, Preston County, Cabell County, Kanawha and so on. And it was just a matter of time before the southern part of the state was able to be hit on this,” Puckett said. 

Health officials continue to stress that social distancing, washing your hands and wearing a mask are the greatest defenses against the virus. However, to many, wearing a mask has become a political stance, where some refuse to wear one for various reasons. 

“There’s a lot of politics out there wrapped around masks. To be honest with you I think it’s kind of crazy, because I think there’s way more statistics out there and data that shows if you wear a mask, you’ve got a greater likelihood of not contracting the virus.”

County officials want to stress that wearing a mask or social distancing is not by any means them telling you to cancel your vacation plans. It’s still very possible to head outside and travel if you stay safe about it.

“You can still travel, you can still vacation. I know that’s a hard thing to do right now. But if you’re responsible about that, that’s plenty to do. And then when you get back, you have to have the ability to isolate and social distance yourself away.”

According to Puckett, testing in Mercer has been consistent and the spike in new cases is not just a coincidence with the number of tests being done. It is a genuine spike and more people, in general, are contracting the virus.

Currently, in Mercer County, there are 23 cases that are outstanding and results are pending.