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W.Va. reports three COVID deaths; hospitalization rates decrease

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — Hospitalizations in West Virginia because of the COVID-19 coronavirus are at their lowest level since around the first of August, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources.

The department in its Tuesday morning update reported 119 people were in a hospital in West Virginia from virus complications. Hospitalizations were last below 120 on Aug. 4.

The state also reported 44 people were in an intensive care unit and 18 patients were on ventilators. The number of residents in an ICU was highest on Jan. 6 when 216 patients were in the ICU. Patients on ventilators also peaked the first of January with 104 as of Jan. 10.

The state reported three deaths from the virus in the 24-hour period from Monday to Tuesday, raising the count to 2,856.

The youngest was a 49-year-old woman from Raleigh County, the DHHR said. Other deaths were an 88-year-old man from Berkeley County and a 61-year-old man from Logan County.

“You got real shot of making the roll call,” said Gov. Jim Justice in encouraging residents to get vaccinated during his Tuesday pandemic briefing.

Justice said he would bet everyone or very few on the list of dead were vaccinated. People are wrong if they believe the pandemic is over, he said.

“You believe something that’s plain stupid. That’s all there is to it,” Justice said.

Active cases also continued to decline with 2,710 as of Tuesday. Active cases were 2,799 on Monday morning.

New cases reported in the 24-hour period from Monday to Tuesday were 77.

The daily positivity rate was 2.53 percent on Tuesday:

Active cases in local counties (previous day) are: Calhoun, 7 (7); Doddridge, 21 (21); Gilmer, 7 (6); Jackson, 7 (12); Pleasants, 6 (7); Ritchie, 5 (7); Roane, 7 (6); Tyler, 15 (18); Wetzel, 23 (25); Wirt, 4 (4); Wood, 33 (38).

Doddridge County remained yellow in the County Alert System map based on infection rate and positivity, second lowest on the chart. No counties in the state are red, highest in severity.

The percentage of residents 12 and older who have received at least one shot of vaccine was at 61.4 percent as of Tuesday. Justice said the mask mandate will be lifted on Sunday if the percentage is near or at 65 percent.

The vaccination information line is 1-833-734-0965 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Residents who have at least one shot can register for the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change a Life” vaccination sweepstakes at doitforbabydog.wv.gov. Drawings will be held through Aug. 2.

The deadline to register for the first drawing is 11:59 p.m. today.

The state has tracked 1,914 cases of the UK variant, 234 cases of the California variant, five cases of the South Africa variant and 12 cases of the Brazil variant.

Mutant strains found in local counties: Calhoun, six UK; Doddridge, 11 UK; Gilmer, 17 UK; Jackson, 17 UK, 1 California; Pleasants, 15 UK; Ritchie, five UK; Roane, 12 UK; Tyler, three UK; Wetzel, 22 UK, one California; Wirt, five UK; Wood, 10 UK, one Brazil, four California.

Local vaccination clinics this week are scheduled 9 a.m.-noon Thursday at the Wetzel-Tyler Health Department in Paden City.

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