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COVID-19 cases climb in Wood, other Mid-Ohio Valley counties

PARKERSBURG — Active COVID-19 cases in Wood County climbed from 115 to 150 over the weekend, according to statistics from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

Carrie Brainard, threat preparedness coordinator for the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department, said more people have been traveling recently, but it’s not clear if that is related to the increase.

“We don’t know whether it’s travel-induced or if it’s just here,” she said, referring to the more infectious delta variant that has become the dominant strain of the virus across the country.

There was a recent outbreak at the Latrobe Street Mission, which serves homeless individuals in Parkersburg. It’s the first such incident at the shelter, Executive Director Jim Sims said.

“This is it. We went a whole year and didn’t have any problems at all,” he said.

Those infected are quarantined and people are wearing masks and following other protocols in the shelter, Sims and Brainard said.

To limit potential spread of the virus, the mission is serving prepared meals to those not staying there in its warehouse area, Sims said.

“We’ll take in new people” for shelter, he said. “We’ll ask them where they came from and if they’ve been vaccinated or not.”

The MOVHD provided testing at the shelter Friday. As case numbers climb in Wood and many surrounding counties, the department has announced additional testing opportunities:

* Calhoun County — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, Calhoun Middle/High School, 50 Underwood Circle, Mt. Zion.

* Pleasants County — Noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, St. Marys Marina, 617 Riverside Drive, St. Marys.

* Ritchie County — 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, Ritchie Regional Health Center, 137 S. Penn Ave., Harrisville.

* Wood County — drive-through/walk-up testing, noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Bicentennial Park, 201 Third St., Parkersburg.

Pre-registration at wv.getmycovidresult.com is recommended but not required for the Calhoun, Pleasants and Ritchie County events. There is no pre-registration for the Wood County testing.

The health department will hold a free vaccination clinic from 3-6 p.m. Friday at Gabe’s in the Park Shopping Center. The Pfizer vaccine for ages 12 and up and the one-shot Johnson and Johnson inoculation for ages 18 and older will be offered. No appointment is needed.

Active cases in local counties as of Monday (Friday’s total) were: Calhoun, 7 (6); Doddridge, 8 (7); Gilmer, 17 (13); Jackson, 58 (46); Pleasants, 14 (7); Ritchie, 11 (11); Roane, 20 (14); Tyler, 22 (21); Wetzel, 88 (69); Wirt, 9 (9); Wood, 150 (115).

The DHHR announced the confirmation of seven COVID-19 deaths Monday, ranging from a 63-year-old Nicholas County man to a 91-year-old Fayette County woman. That followed four announced deaths on Friday.

Wetzel County remained the only Mid-Ohio Valley county labeled red, designating the highest level of transmission, on the state’s County Alert System Map. Wood, Jackson and Gilmer counties were orange, the second-highest level, while Pleasants County joined Tyler in the middle with a gold designation.

Pleasants had been green, the lowest level, on Friday. Only Calhoun and Doddridge maintained that level locally Monday, while Ritchie, Roane and Wirt were all yellow, the second lowest.

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

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