The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department (MOVHD) announced three new positive COVID-19 cases. Roane County added another case which makes a total of nine cases in the county.

Wood County has one new positive bringing the total for this county to 52 and a new case for Pleasants County brings their count to four.

Wirt County has four positive cases, and Calhoun County has two cases.

Ritchie County continues to have only one case. Cases are reported to the county of residence.

When a case is identified as positive, the health department will try to identify those that have been in contact with the case that might be at risk for infection. This is called contact tracing.

The health department contact tracers, if leaving a message, will only ask that you return the phone call. Never will they ask you for a social security number or ask for any kind of payment.

Contact tracers with a local health department play a vital role in helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

They work with a confirmed positive person to get the names and phone numbers for everyone that person came in close contact with while possibly infectious.

Those names and phone numbers are kept confidential by the health department.

Once identified, the contact tracers may call or text those identified to let them know that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and then through a series of questions they will determine if a person should be quarantined.

Unfortunately, there are scammers pretending to be coronavirus contact tracers. Although we have not seen this in our area, we want to make you aware, the scammers are sending text messages to warn people they've been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and need to click a link to learn more.

At first glance, the text message seems straightforward but when the link is clicked a malicious software is downloaded onto the person’s smartphone, giving hackers access to their target’s private information according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Contact tracers will only text to inform someone that the health department will be calling them and will never ask for personal information, such as a social security number or bank information.

At the end of a call with a contact tracer, they will also sometimes give people the option to enroll in text message updates. MOVHD encourages individuals to be alert, and if you are not certain that the contact tracer is legitimate, ask for their name and hang up. Call MOVHD at 304-485-7374 and give the name to verify that they are a MOVHD contact tracer.

Links for more information are available at; (COVID banner) or (COVID-19 tab). Operators are available 24/7 at the toll-free West Virginia Coronavirus hotline at 1-800-887-4304 to provide accurate information about COVID-19, the risk to the public, and the state’s response. PLEASE PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS -> STAY SAFE and KEEP OTHERS SAFE.