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Virus outbreak at West Virginia nursing home grows

FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2020, file photo, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice delivers his annual State of the State address in the House Chambers at the state capitol in Charleston, W.Va. The former West Virginia public health leader forced out by the governor says decades-old computer systems and cuts to staff over a period of years had made a challenging job even harder during a once-in-a-century pandemic. Republican Gov. Jim Justice demanded Dr. Cathy Slemp’s resignation on June 24. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, File)
FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2020, file photo, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice delivers his annual State of the State address in the House Chambers at the state capitol in Charleston, W.Va. The former West Virginia public health leader forced out by the governor says decades-old computer systems and cuts to staff over a period of years had made a challenging job even harder during a once-in-a-century pandemic. Republican Gov. Jim Justice demanded Dr. Cathy Slemp’s resignation on June 24. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson, File)(Chris Jackson | AP)
Published: Aug. 4, 2020 at 9:48 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — More than 60 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in an ongoing outbreak at a West Virginia nursing home, officials said Monday.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice said 31 staffers and 33 residents at the Princeton Health Care Center have tested positive. Nineteen people linked to the Mercer County facility have been hospitalized. Three have died.

“Absolutely the Princeton situation is not good,” he said, adding that “our people are staying on top of this to the very, very best of our abilities.”

Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch said the state National Guard is providing protective equipment training and working on “airflow studies” at the facility.

West Virginia has roughly 2,000 active cases, the highest caseload since the outbreak began. Hospitalizations and intensive care unit patients are also at their highest levels. Since the outbreak began, state health officials have recorded around 7,000 cases and at least 117 deaths.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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