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650 Wood County residents receive COVID-19 vaccine

Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department volunteer Ed Goe speaks with people arriving for COVID-19 vaccinations Sunday at the West Virginia Army National Guard Armory Readiness Center near Williamstown. The Health Department administered a combined 650 vaccinations there Saturday and Sunday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

WILLIAMSTOWN — Nearly 800 Wood, Ritchie and Wirt County residents age 80 and older received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The bulk of those inoculations — 650 — were performed over the weekend at the West Virginia Army National Guard Armory Readiness Center off West Virginia 31 near Williamstown, said Carrie Brainard, threat preparedness coordinator for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

“People were in and out,” she said. “The longest wait they had was the 15 minutes we have them wait after the vaccination.”

The parking lot at the Guard facility was busy Sunday afternoon, but there were no lines inside or outside as people checked in for previously scheduled appointments and were allowed to go inside about 10 minutes ahead of them.

“A lot of people thanked us because they were wanting to get this vaccine,” Brainard said.

Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department office assistant Jessica McKinney fills out registration paperwork for a Wood County resident seeking a COVID-19 vaccination Sunday afternoon outside the West Virginia Army National Guard Armory Readiness Center near Williamstown. The Health Department administered a combined 650 vaccinations there Saturday and Sunday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Nurses from Wood County Schools and elsewhere in the community assisted with the clinic.

“That made it so that we could get more people in,” Brainard said.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were utilized at the clinic. People were given a card informing them whether their second dose would be administered in three weeks or four and given the same appointment time on the date in question, Brainard said. They expect to use the same location, but recipients will be notified of any changes.

The Readiness Center was used after the initial round of vaccinations for the 80 and older population, on Jan. 3, led to hundreds of cars backing up traffic in downtown Parkersburg for just 50 available doses.

In addition, there were 66 Ritchie Countians vaccinated at the Ritchie Regional Health Center Harrisville Campus Saturday and 70 Wirt County residents inoculated Friday at Wirt County Middle School in Elizabeth, she said.

Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department Medical Officer Dr. Charles Whitaker III, left, and volunteer Larry Fletcher welcomed people to the COVID-19 vaccination clinic Sunday afternoon at the West Virginia Army National Guard Armory Readiness Center near Williamstown. The Health Department administered a combined 650 vaccinations there Saturday and Sunday. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

Vaccinations for Mid-Ohio Valley residents age 80 and older will continue as more doses are received, Brainard said. She again asked the public for patience and encouraged people to watch local media and the Health Department’s Facebook page and website for upcoming clinics.

As the second day of the Wood County clinic was going on, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced the state had crossed the threshold of 100,000 confirmed and probable positive cases in its daily update. A dozen reported deaths brought the number of COVID-19 fatalities in the Mountain State to 1,582. The youngest was a 52-year-old man from Logan County while the oldest was an 89-year-old man from Harrison County.

“Each tragic death reported is a solemn reminder of the seriousness of this disease,” DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch said. “We send our sympathy to these families and urge all West Virginians to continue following the guidelines to protect vulnerable residents.”

The latest COVID-19 statistics from local counties:

* Calhoun: 43 active cases, 126 recovered, 150 cumulative confirmed, 19 cumulative probable, 5,436 tests, 0 deaths.

* Doddridge: 68 active, 241 recovered, 232 cumulative confirmed, 80 cumulative probable, 4,333 tests, 3 deaths.

* Gilmer: 61 active, 420 recovered, 395 cumulative confirmed, 89 cumulative probable, 7,035 tests, 3 deaths.

* Jackson: 394 active, 954 recovered, 1,243 cumulative confirmed, 138 cumulative probable, 20,010 tests, 33 deaths.

* Pleasants: 186 active, 497 recovered, 597 cumulative confirmed, 92 cumulative probable, 5,773 tests, 6 deaths.

* Ritchie: 116 active, 334 recovered, 382 cumulative confirmed, 75 cumulative probable, 6,451 tests, 7 deaths.

* Roane: 54 active, 298 recovered, 333 cumulative confirmed, 25 cumulative probable, 11,456 tests, 6 deaths.

* Tyler: 128 active, 310 recovered, 297 cumulative confirmed, 143 cumulative probable, 5,877 tests, 2 deaths.

* Wetzel: 187 active, 610 recovered, 495 cumulative confirmed, 318 cumulative probable, 9,706 tests, 16 deaths.

* Wirt: 55 active, 210 recovered, 209 cumulative confirmed, 57 cumulative probable, 3,176 tests, 1 death.

* Wood: 1,096 active, 4,580 recovered, 4,317 cumulative confirmed, 1,417 probable, 66,625 tests, 58 deaths.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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