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Masks Ordered For Brooke County Courthouse Visitors

WELLSBURG — With Brooke County joining most other West Virginia counties in experiencing rising COVID-19 cases, the Brooke County Commission on Tuesday called for all visitors to the county courthouse to wear masks starting today.

Commission President A.J. Thomas said the decision came after consulting the county’s health department, which on Tuesday reported there were 116 active cases, up from 94 on Friday and 87 last Wednesday.

County health officials said the numbers are based on those who have tested positive for the virus at the health department and at other locations reporting to it.

They said of those who responded when asked if they had been vaccinated, 67 percent had not.

The Brooke County Health Department also reported 15 percent were of school age, referring to residents 12 and older in that category for which the vaccine is available.

Officials with the department and Weirton Medical Center couldn’t be reached for comment on whether there are any residents currently hospitalized by the virus.

On Monday, the state Department of Health and Human Resources reported the delta variant of the virus, found to be more easily transmitted, has arrived in Brooke County, with at least six found to have contracted it among random samples of those tested.

The state health department also reported on Monday there were 16,743 active cases in West Virginia and 10 recent deaths.

The Brooke County Health Department continues to offer vaccinations and appointments may be made by calling (304) 737-3665.

Free drive-up COVID-19 testing also is being conducted by the department each Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Weirton Salvation Army on Cove Road and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Wellsburg Banquet Hall on 12th Street.

No appointment is required for the testing, but participants are asked to bring a photo ID.

Thomas said courthouse staff will be required to wear masks while moving around the building, though they may remove them within their work spaces if they wish.

The commissioners said they don’t plan to make exceptions for unmasked visitors, adding information or business can be conducted with county departments by phone, online or mail.

Residents and others may reach the county clerk’s office at (304) 737-3661; the sheriff’s department at (304) 737-3660 ext. 1; tax department at (304) 737-3663; assessor’s office at (304) 737-3667; and voter registration at (304) 737-3668.

Those with questions about pending court actions should call 737-3662 for the circuit court and (304) 737-1321 for the magistrate court.

County officials noted that in addition to mail, tax payments may be made online at http://tax.brookecountysheriff.com.

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