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West Virginia active COVID cases below 6K

CHARLESTON — As the world awaits more information about the newly discovered omicron variant of COVID-19, active cases of the virus in West Virginia have dipped below 6,000.

Scientists are still working to determine how much of a danger the mutated form of the virus identified in South Africa poses. It will likely be a topic of discussion in Gov. Jim Justice’s next COVID-19 briefing, scheduled for Tuesday.

Monday’s update from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources was the first since Wednesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

There have been 20 deaths attributed to the virus since then, ranging in age from a 48-year-old Nicholas County man to a 97-year-old Kanawha County woman. That brings the COVID-19 death toll in the state to 4,837.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is life-saving and available to all West Virginians ages 5 and older,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “Please make the decision to be vaccinated.”

Active cases continued their downward trend in the state, reaching 5,991 in the latest update after being at 6,754 last week.

Active cases in local counties Monday (last report Wednesday, Nov. 24) were: Calhoun, 27 (40); Doddridge, 28 (18); Gilmer, 12 (9); Jackson, 66 (67); Pleasants, 18 (16); Ritchie, 18 (28); Roane, 37 (40); Tyler, 34 (35); Wetzel, 57 (78); Wirt, 26 (26); Wood, 258 (290).

Wood County remained red on the state’s County Alert System map. That’s the category designating the highest level of virus spread based on the lower of either number of new cases per 100,000 people in a one- or two-week period or percentage of positive tests.

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

More information about COVID-19 vaccinations, including locations where they can be administered, is available online at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling 1-833-734-0965.

Free testing opportunities can be found online at https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/pages/testing.aspx.

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