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WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — Mingo County Health Department Administrator Keith Blankenship recently told county commissioners a fully vaccinated resident died due to complications from COVID-19.

Blankenship attended the June 2 Mingo County Commission meeting to provide updates and guidance regarding the ongoing mask mandate in West Virginia.

“We’ve had more than a dozen what is called break-out case,” Blankenship told commissioners, “which means someone who has been fully vaccinated ... got COVID. Those typically are mild.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccine breakthrough cases are expected.

“COVID-19 vaccines are effective and are a critical tool to bring the pandemic under control. However, no vaccines are 100% effective at preventing illness in vaccinated people. There will be a small percentage of fully vaccinated people who still get sick, are hospitalized, or die from COVID-19,” the CDC says on its website.

The CDC says there is some evidence that vaccination may make illness less severe for those who are vaccinated and still get sick.

Blankenship said Mingo averages 50 new cases of coronavirus a week.

He recommended continuing to follow the directives of Gov. Jim Justice regarding the mask mandate. The Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement is still in effect for all West Virginians who are not yet fully vaccinated, and will remain in effect for these individuals until June 20.

On Monday, the state Department of Health and Human Resources confirmed eight new COVID-19 deaths — 73-year-old and 72-year-old men from Kanawha County, a 71-year-old man and an 88-year-old woman from Wood County, a 75-year-old man from Mineral County, a 55-year-old man from Morgan County, a 75-year-old woman from Monongalia County and a 66-year-old woman from Barbour County.

“We know COVID-19 transmission is occurring among children and teens,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary, in a news release. “If you or a family member are over the age of 12 and have not yet received a COVID vaccine, please schedule one today.”

In Cabell County, there are 102 current active cases of COVID-19, according to the Cabell-Huntington Health Department on Monday evening. The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department has logged 12 total cases for the month of June so far, with four new positive cases reported as of Monday.

HD Media reporter Nancy Peyton contributed to this report.

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