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Wood County records one COVID death

CHARLESTON — A Wood County resident was a confirmed death from the COVID-19 coronavirus reported Wednesday by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

The 90-year-old Wood County woman was among the 11 confirmed deaths from the virus in the 24-hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday morning, according to the Wednesday morning pandemic update from the state. The death count since the pandemic began a year ago was 2,800 as of Wednesday.

Deaths also were confirmed Wednesday in Kanawha, Berkeley, Mingo, Morgan, Cabell, Ohio, Jefferson, Hancock and Greenbrier counties.

The total number of deaths in Wood County was at 168 people, the highest count among counties in the region and third highest in the state. The most deaths were residents of Kanawha and Cabell counties with 344 and 181, respectively.

Deaths in local counties as of Wednesday are: Calhoun 0; Doddridge 6; Gilmer 8; Jackson, 63, Pleasants 17; Ritchie 11; Roane 8; Tyler 9; Wetzel 29; Wirt 3.

The state reported 426 new cases of the virus from Tuesday to Wednesday morning.

Total active cases as of Wednesday were 7,293. Active cases were 7,270 on Tuesday, 7,388 on Monday and 7,390 on Sunday.

Active case totals as of Sunday (previous day) in local counties are: Calhoun, 15 (16); Doddridge, 22 (18); Gilmer, 5 (5); Jackson, 68 (65); Pleasants, 12 (8); Ritchie, 12 (15); Roane, 23 (23); Tyler, 22 (19); Wetzel, 87 (81); Wirt, 7 (7); and Wood, 102 (97).

Hospitalizations totaled 249, with 79 in an intensive care unit and 26 on ventilators.

The state has fully vaccinated 520,206 people with 687,045 people with at least one dose. Local counties (total fully vaccinated and percentage of population): Calhoun, 1,460, 20.5; Doddridge, 3,058, 36.2; Gilmer, 1,783, 22.8; Jackson, 7,530, 26.4; Pleasants, 2,098, 28.1; Ritchie, 2,472, 25.9; Roane, 3,321, 24.3; Tyler, 2,011, 23.4; Wetzel, 4,698, 31.2; Wirt, 1,289, 22.1; Wood, 19,938, 23.9.

Residents 16 and older can pre-register for vaccinations at vaccinate.wv.gov or call 833-734-0965.

While vaccination of the older population remains a priority, younger residents over 16 must be encouraged to get immunized, Gov. Jim Justice said Wednesday.

Seventy-seven percent of people older than 65 have been vaccinated, but the state must be at 70 percent of its total population vaccinated so restrictions like wearing a mask become a memory, he said. About 51 percent of residents have received a vaccination, he said.

“We got to get our kids on board,” Justice said.

Variants of the virus are impacting younger residents, Dr. Clay Marsh, coronavirus czar in West Virginia, said. Four variants have so far been identified in West Virginia, the predominant UK variant, the South Africa, the California and the Brazilian, he said.

One case of the Brazilian mutant strain has been found in West Virginia, he said. However, most of the patients in Brazil in intensive care units are under 30 years old, Marsh said.

“We’re seeing the most spread in our 10- to 19-year old group,” he said.

As of Wednesday, four people have been identified as having a variant of concern who subsequently died and had a death certificate confirming COVID-19 as the cause of death, the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health said.

Vaccination clinics scheduled this week in the region are:

THURSDAY

* Gilmer County, 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m., Gilmer County Health Department, Glenville.

* Jackson County, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Jackson County Armory, 8832 Pt. Pleasant Road, Millwood.

* Pleasants County, 9 a.m.-noon, Pleasants County Library, 101 Lafayette St., St. Marys.

* Ritchie County, 9 a.m.-noon, Ritchie County 4-H Camp, 4-H Camp Road, Harrisville.

* Wetzel and Tyler counties, 9 a.m., United Methodist Church, 10 Howard Jeffers Drive, New Martinsville.

* Wood County, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., WVU-Parkersburg Early Learning Center, Parkersburg.

FRIDAY

* Calhoun County, 9 a.m.-noon, Calhoun Middle/High School – Front Loop, 50 Underwood Circle, Mt. Zion.

* Gilmer County, 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m., Gilmer County Health Department, Glenville.

* Wood County, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., South Parkersburg Baptist Church, 1655 Blizzard Drive, Parkersburg.

SATURDAY

* Jackson County, 9 a.m.-noon, Jackson County Armory, 8832 Pt. Pleasant Road, Millwood.

Raleigh County on Wednesday joined Berkeley as the only red-level counties on the County Alert System map, the severest level based on infection and positivity rates. Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Ritchie, Roane, Calhoun and Gilmer were green, the least severe of categories. Doddridge went from green to yellow. Wetzel remained orange. Wirt dropped from gold to yellow and Jackson from yellow rose to gold, midway on the severity level.

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