Mercer County sees significant spike of new cases

PRINCETON, WV (WOAY) – Mercer County has been seeing an influx of new cases of COVID-19 in recent weeks.

In June, Mercer County was sitting at just more than 10 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Now they’re at 57. According to County Commissioner Greg Puckett, it’s a dramatic spike that should not be taken lightly. 

“For the longest time we were at 13 cases and now all of a sudden we’re at 57. So it’s a dramatic spike. A lot of people say that’s a direct result of the testing but it’s truly not. Because when you have those positive cases coming back, the ratio of tests to positives, it doesn’t equal out. So it does show a spike,” Puckett said.  

The cumulative positive test rate for the entire state has risen slowly but surely in recent weeks. In June, it was at less than 1.5%, now it’s higher than 1.8%. This means that more people in general are being infected.

“Before when we were out socially distancing and staying at time, y’know a lot of people said our numbers were low. And that’s because we weren’t doing anything. We stayed home.” 

With the recent mask mandate, officials are hoping that transmission of the virus slows as more people wear masks. Puckett says wearing a mask is a gesture for others more than for yourself. 

“There’s a lot of discrepancy back and forth on should you wear it, should you not. And it’s really not for the protection of yourself, it’s the protection of others. The masks actually help stop the transmission and the spread of the droplets that come out of your mouth, so it’s good for other people.”

As of now, there are almost 40 individuals in Mercer County with active cases of COVID-19, with roughly 5 being treated at Princeton Community Hospital. Of the 57 total cases, 19 have recovered and none have proven fatal. 

Neighboring counties of Mercer, except for Raleigh, all sit at less than 10 cases.