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West Virginia reports eight more COVID deaths over weekend

CHARLESTON — Eight people over the weekend were confirmed as deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus in West Virginia, according to the Saturday and Sunday pandemic updates from the Department of Health and Human Resources.

Four deaths each were reported in the 24-hour periods from Friday to Saturday morning and Saturday to Sunday morning, raising the death count since the pandemic started a year ago to 2,821 in West Virginia, the department reported.

Deaths were reported in Raleigh, Kanawha, Cabell, Berkeley, Monongalia and Marion counties. The youngest were a 43-year-old man from Raleigh County and a 45-year-old woman from Berkeley County and the oldest was an 81-year-old woman from Cabell County.

State health officers for the past several weeks have reported variants of the virus are impacting younger residents who have not been vaccinated in the same numbers of the over-60 segment of the population in West Virginia.

Four variants have been found through testing in West Virginia, the UK, California, South African and Brazilian mutant strains and at least four people as of last week were confirmed as deaths with the variants, the state said.

The state reported 314 new cases of the virus in the period from Saturday to Sunday and 375 new cases in the period from Friday to Saturday.

Active cases in the state were at 7,157, 100 less than on Saturday, according to the state statistics. Cases decreased until about mid-March, then started rising again.

Active cases in local counties (previous day) are: Calhoun, 12 (12); Doddridge, 16 (17); Gilmer 6 (2); Jackson 64 (67); Pleasants, 21 (20); Ritchie 19 (17); Roane 24 (25); Tyler 18 (20) ; Wetzel 104 (104); Wirt 7 (7); Wood 105 (109).

The state as of Sunday has fully vaccinated 557,644 people. People with at least one dose totaled 699,338 as of Sunday.

The number of people fully vaccinated in local counties and the percentage of the population are: Calhoun, 1,485, 20.8; Doddridge, 3,147, 37.2; Gilmer, 1,833, 23.4; Jackson, 8,292, 28.7; Pleasants, 2,174, 29.1; Ritchie, 2,544, 26.6; Roane, 3,637, 26.5; Tyler, 2,110, 24.5; Wetzel, 4,798, 31.8; Wirt, 1,324, 22.7; Wood, 22,155, 26.5.

Residents 16 and older can pre-register for vaccinations at vaccinate.wv.gov or call 833-734-0965. Some clinics are accepting walk-ins and residents with the individual event to determine whether walk-ins are allowed.

Hospitalizations were 260 on Sunday with 85 in an intensive care unit and 25 on ventilators, no change from the Saturday numbers.

As of Sunday, Wetzel County in the fringes of the immediate area remained at orange on the County Alert System, second in severity to red based on infection and spread rates. Jackson, Wirt and Pleasants counties were yellow and Wood, Tyler, Ritchie, Gilmer, Calhoun and Doddridge counties were green, the least severe.

Berkeley and Raleigh counties were the only red counties in the state.

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