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COVID-19 Delta variant recorded in Gilmer County

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — A Delta variant virus case has been recorded in Gilmer County, according to the latest pandemic update on Tuesday from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

The variant is the most contagious of the mutations of the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to health officials who predict the strain will follow national trends and become predominant in West Virginia among the unvaccinated. Nationally, one in four cases of the variant are in Florida, said Dr. Clay Marsh, coronavirus leader in West Virginia.

The state released additional information Tuesday showing 43 cases of the Delta variant, also known as the India strain as it originated in India, in West Virginia. The increase has nearly doubled the number of delta cases in the past week.

The numbers in West Virginia may not be an accurate count of what the spread of the Delta infection actually is here, Marsh said. People may have the contagion, but not show signs of infection, he said.

What’s encouraging is the United Kingdom is starting to see a reduction in the number of Delta cases, Marsh said.

“That gives us room for optimism,” he said.

In Mid-Ohio Valley, the Delta variant so far has only been recorded in Gilmer and Wetzel counties. The variant is in 19 counties in West Virginia.

Of the 43 Delta cases, 13 are in Berkeley County. Health officers have found six cases in Monongalia County, three in Greenbrier, Morgan and Jefferson counties, two in Webster County, and one each in Braxton, Gilmer, Wetzel, Hampshire, Harrison, Kanawha, Marion, McDowell, Mineral, Wyoming, Upshur, Summers and Raleigh counties.

The state also has counted 2,457 cases of the UK variant, eight South Africa variant cases and 22 Brazil variant cases. Locally: Wood, 37 UK, three Brazil; Wirt, nine UK; Wetzel, 39 UK, 1 delta; Roane, 12 UK; Ritchie, 13 UK; Pleasants 21 UK; Jackson, 26 UK; Gilmer, 18 UK, one delta; Doddridge, 17 UK; Calhoun, nine UK.

Active cases of the virus in West Virginia again increased by nearly 100, from 1,567 on Monday to 1,656 on Tuesday. Active cases dropped to 882 on July 9, the first time in a year, but have been increasing since.

The state reported an increase of 189 new cases from Monday to Tuesday.

No counties are red, the severest level, in the County Alert System map based on infection rates and percent positivity. Webster County is the only orange county, second in severity.

Harrison and Ohio counties have moved to the gold level with Marshall, Mason, Putnam, Nicholas and Wyoming counties. Upshur was upgraded from gold to yellow with Wood, Hancock, Brooke, Jefferson, Morgan, Cabell, Berkeley, Braxton, Wayne, Mingo and Boone counties.

The number of people in the hospital jumped from 96 to 111 on Tuesday with 47 patients in an intensive care unit, up from 38 on Monday, and 19 on ventilators.

No deaths were reported on Tuesday. The number of deaths in West Virginia remained at 2,936 on Tuesday.

Vaccine information is available at vaccinate.wv.gov or at 1-833-734-0965.

Residents with at least one shot are eligible for the Do It for Babydog sweepstakes and can register at doitforbabydog.wv.gov. The next drawing is today.

Vaccination clinics without an appointment are scheduled noon to 4 p.m. Friday at the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority on Juliana Street and 1-3 p.m. Thursday at the City Park Pavilion.

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