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Six Mid-Ohio Valley residents among latest COVID fatalities

PARKERSBURG — The latest West Virginia deaths attributed to COVID-19 include six Mid-Ohio Valley residents from age 48 to 102.

According to Monday’s update from the state Department of Health and Human Resources, three Wood County residents — a 48-year-old woman, a 70-year-old man and a 102-year-old woman — were added to the state’s death toll, along with a 65-year-old woman and an 86-year-old man from Jackson County and a 68-year-old man from Roane County.

They were among 32 deaths announced Monday by the agency, bringing the state’s COVID death toll to 4,757. The total no longer includes the death of a 43-year-old man posted in September, after it was determined he was an out-of-state resident rather than living in Berkeley County, the release from the state said.

Deaths by local county are Wood, 262; Wirt, 15; Wetzel, 58; Tyler, 24; Roane, 25; Ritchie, 21; Pleasants, 30; Jackson, 90; Gilmer, 14; Doddridge, 11; Calhoun, 5.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is safe and available statewide,” DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch said. “If you have not yet been vaccinated, I urge you to schedule an appointment or visit one of our pop-up sites to protect yourself and your family.”

Gov. Jim Justice has said there will be only one online COVID briefing this week, on Wednesday.

Active cases statewide dipped below 7,000 again Monday after climbing above that mark last week. Active cases in local counties as of Monday (Friday) were: Calhoun, 42 (52); Doddridge, 15 (13); Gilmer, 17 (21); Jackson, 82 (85); Pleasants, 14 (18); Ritchie, 24 (21); Roane, 49 (69); Tyler, 33 (24); Wetzel, 76 (83); Wirt, 23 (25); Wood, 262 (265).

Wood County remained red, the color representing the highest level of virus spread based on the lower of new cases per 100,000 residents in a one- or two-week period or percentage of positive test results, on the state’s County Alert System map. It was one of 18 counties in the state with that designation, including Wetzel.

Calhoun, Jackson and Tyler counties were orange, the second-highest level, while Gilmer, Ritchie, Roane and Wirt counties were gold, the middle of the scale. Doddridge County was yellow, the second-lowest, while Pleasants County was one of just two counties (along with Tucker) in the state on the lowest tier of green.

There were 539 people hospitalized in West Virginia due to COVID-19 complications as of Monday’s update. Of those individuals, 75.7 percent were unvaccinated, according to the COVID dashboard.

There were 179 people in intensive care units (84.9 percent unvaccinated) and 99 on ventilators (85.9 percent unvaccinated).

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for people age 5 and older while booster doses of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been authorized for anyone 18 and older. For more information, including for vaccination locations, is available online at vaccinate.wv.gov. People can also call 1-833-734-0965 with questions or concerns.

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