Wood County at nearly 800 COVID cases
CHARLESTON — Active cases of COVID-19 were one shy of 800 in Wood County while more than 1,600 new cases were recorded statewide between the Wednesday and Thursday pandemic updates by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.
The department reported 799 active cases in Wood County, where the number was in the teens a little more than a month ago. Cases have steeply jumped across the state in the last month and were at 18,177 on Thursday with 1,632 new cases received in the 24-hour period between Wednesday and Thursday morning.
The highest number of active cases was more than 29,000 in early January. However, the numbers have increased in a much shorter period of time in this latest surge, fueled by the more-infectious delta strain of the virus. The rise is concerning to state officials because of the impact on West Virginia’s health care system.
The report on Thursday cited 670 people hospitalized with virus complications and 200 in an intensive care unit, numbers initially updated during Gov. Jim Justice’s pandemic briefing Wednesday. The highest was 818 people in a hospital in January.
Also, 109 people are on ventilators, the highest total of the pandemic, according to the department.
Most of the hospitalized patients are unvaccinated, health officials have said. A small number are vaccinated residents, experiencing breakthrough infections.
The state Thursday reported 77 breakthrough deaths and 5,427 total breakthrough cases.
Justice is lobbying the federal government to approve booster shots for residents vaccinated in the initial days of availability ahead of the Sept. 20 distribution date set by the Biden Administration.
CNBC this week reported about 1 million people with weakened immune systems have received a booster shot.
The number of active cases in Wood County jumped up 75 from Wednesday to Thursday, according to the state.
Active cases in other local counties on Thursday were (previous report): Calhoun, 118 (95); Doddridge, 54 (46); Gilmer, 42 (48); Jackson, 157 (140); Pleasants, 72 (64); Ritchie, 89 (89); Roane, 140 (130); Tyler, 174 (170); Wetzel, 326 (339); and Wirt, 49 (41).
Eleven more deaths were reported on Thursday, including a 62-year-old man from Wood County. The total deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Wood County was 184.
The youngest of the deaths announced Thursday were a 45-year-old woman from Fayette County and a 51-year-old man from Jefferson County. Also reported were the deaths of an 81-year-old man from Cabell County, an 82-year-old man from Putnam County, a 68-year-old man from Cabell County, a 96-year-old woman from Braxton County, a 60-year-old man from Kanawha County, a 69-year-old man from Randolph County, a 59-year-old woman from Preston County and a 72-year-old woman from Putnam County.
“With profound sadness, we share this tragic news of more lives lost to COVID-19 and join the families in their mourning,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR cabinet secretary. “We urge all West Virginians to receive their COVID-19 vaccine to protect one another.”
Thirty-eight counties are red, the highest level of infection rate and percent positivity on the County Alert System map, while 15 are orange, second highest in severity. One county is gold, Tucker, and two counties are yellow, Pleasants and Pocahontas.
Wood, Wetzel, Tyler, Ritchie, Wirt, Jackson, Roane and Calhoun are red. Doddridge and Gilmer are orange.
The infection rate per 100,000 people and percent positivity in Wood County have not decreased for more than a week and are at 73.04 and 9.91 percent, respectively.
Vaccination clinics will be held 9 a.m. to noon today at the Wetzel-Tyler County Health Department in Paden City and 9 a.m. to noon today with appointments at the Minnie Hamilton Health System locations in Grantsville and Glenville.