Essential reporting in volatile times.

Not a Subscriber yet? Click here to take advantage of All access digital limited time offer $4.99 per month EZ Pay.

Interested in Donating? Click #ISupportLocal for more information on supporting local journalism.

2020 0523 freetests 05.jpg

Workers prepare for the opening of a free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site on May 22, 2020, in Huntington. Outbreaks of the virus have been reported in churches in Boone, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Jefferson and Marshall counties.

HUNTINGTON — Five outbreaks of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed at churches in West Virginia.

According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), the most recent outbreak occurred in Greenbrier County, where at least 17 cases have been identified at a church. Outbreaks in churches have also been reported in Boone, Hampshire, Jefferson and Marshall counties.

DHHR did not identify the churches affected in an effort to prevent the possibility of identifying individuals.

“I want to strongly encourage all West Virginians, especially when in church settings, to follow the guidelines and use every other pew, maintain social distancing and please wear masks,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a release Saturday. “A lot of the attendance at our churches are those that are elderly and at higher risk, so we are cautioning everyone to strictly follow our guidelines.”

Additional free testing events will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, June 14, and Monday, June 15, in Greenbrier County at Dorie Miller Park in Lewisburg.

DHHR reported 2,274 total cases of COVID-19 in the state as of 5 p.m. Saturday. There have been 88 deaths related to the virus.

Cases by county (case confirmed by lab test/probable case) are: Barbour (10/0), Berkeley (369/17), Boone (17/0), Braxton (3/0), Brooke (4/1), Cabell (69/2), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (10/0), Fayette (54/0), Gilmer (10/0), Grant (15/1), Greenbrier (13/0), Hampshire (39/0), Hancock (18/2), Hardy (40/0), Harrison (45/1), Jackson (141/0), Jefferson (202 /5), Kanawha (238/7), Lewis (8/0), Lincoln (5/0), Logan (21/0), Marion (52/2), Marshall (37/1), Mason (15/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (14/0), Mineral (49/2), Mingo (9/3), Monongalia (129/14), Monroe (8/1), Morgan (18/1), Nicholas (7/0), Ohio (54/0), Pendleton (11 /2), Pleasants (3/1), Pocahontas (20/1), Preston (19/5), Putnam (41/1), Raleigh (22/1), Randolph (141/0), Ritchie (2/0), Roane (10/0), Summers (1/0), Taylor (9/1), Tucker (5/0), Tyler (3/0), Upshur (6/1), Wayne (104/0), Wetzel (9/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (52 /3) and Wyoming (5/0).

In Kentucky, 315 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 were announced Saturday, for a total of 12,445. There were two new deaths reported, including a 68-year-old man from Grayson, raising the total to 499 Kentuckians lost to the virus.

There have been 3,409 Kentuckians recover from the virus.

In Ohio, 40,848 cases of COVID-19 were reported as of 2 p.m. Saturday. The state has reported 2,554 deaths related to the virus.

More than 22,000 new cases of the virus were reported across the U.S. on Saturday, bringing the nation’s total number of cases to 2,038,344. There have been 114,625 deaths related to the virus.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.