BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – Multiple COVID-19 cases in Upshur County have been linked to livestock auctions that were held at the Buckhannon Stockyard, according to officials.

A press release from the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department that was posted on its Facebook page on Wednesday stated that the county now has its 12th case of COVID-19, with eight of the cases being currently active. Additionally, health officials said many of the individuals are soon coming off quarantine.

Health officials said that five of the COVID-19 cases in the county are related to the local stockyard.

However, during Wednesday’s COVID-19 briefing, Governor Jim Justice said that the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department has confirmed that a total of 10 cases in the county have been linked to two separate livestock auctions that were held at the Buckhannon Stockyard.

The governor went on to say that these 10 cases are associated with a family-run business in Upshur and Lewis counties. Justice also said that the concession area at the auction was operating at a 50% capacity level. The governor then urged any person who attended the auctions to contact their local health department. Lastly, the governor announced that the stockyard has been closed and will remain closed until the individuals who tested positive are released from quarantine.

In the press release that was posted on Facebook, health officials said they have been working on contact tracing diligently, which is a very time-consuming and labor-intensive process, as well as a CDC requirement.

The health department said no further information on these cases is being released at this time. Health officials also said that they are asking citizens to rely on what is posted on the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department Facebook page and that while the department is not mandated to report anything to the public, it is doing so to keep citizens informed. No personal information of any patient will be released, according to the release.

The release also encouraged citizens to continue following CDC guidelines and urged any person who is waiting for COVID-19 test results to remain self quarantined to protect their family members and working partners.