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Wood County returns to red in West Virginia’s COVID alert system

CHARLESTON — Twenty-two more residents including a 64-year-old man from Wood County were confirmed Wednesday as deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Also, Wood County returned to the red zone on Wednesday, the highest level in the County Alert System map based on infection rates and positive cases.

The death toll since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020 stands at 4,698 as of Wednesday, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported in its pandemic update.

In addition to the confirmed death in Wood, deaths from the virus were reported in Putnam, Randolph, Barbour, Lincoln, Greenbrier, Hancock, Kanawha, Monongalia, Brooke, Marion, Taylor, Clay, Harrison, Raleigh, Mason, Summers, Hampshire and Preston counties. The youngest was a 48-year-old man from Harrison County.

“Sadly, we have lost 22 more West Virginians,” department Secretary Bill J. Crouch said. “Each loss is a heartbreak to a family and to our state. I urge you to choose vaccination for the protection of your family, neighbors and friends.”

Active cases as of Wednesday were 6,462, an increase from 6,200 on Tuesday. Active cases were at 6,436 on Monday and more than 6,700 on Friday, but the pandemic high was 29,744 on Sept. 16.

The state reported 970 new cases received in the 24-hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday mornings.

Active cases in counties in the region as of Wednesday are (previous day): Calhoun 34 (30); Doddridge, 15 (8); Gilmer, 14 (15); Jackson, 80 (77); Pleasants, 16 (15); Ritchie, 21 (18); Roane, 68 (69); Tyler, 16 (15); Wetzel, 6 9(67); Wirt, 22 (20); Wood 221 (196.)

Wood County, the largest county in the region, has been orange, second highest alert level on the map, since about the first of November.

The classification on the map is based on the lower of the infection rate and percent positivity. The rate of infection has nearly doubled in the last five days and was in the red zone while the percent positivity on Tuesday reached the limit for red, 8 percent and greater.

Jackson County also is red. Tyler, Calhoun and Roane are orange. Pleasants and Doddridge are green, lowest level. Wirt is gold, mid level. Tyler and Ritchie are yellow, second lowest.

The state reported 519 people are in the hospital with COVID-related complications, of which 375 are unvaccinated, and 171 patients in an intensive care unit, 141 unvaccinated. Ninety-one people are on ventilators, 78 of those unvaccinated.

WVU Medicine Camden Clark reported 32 COVID patients, 21 of whom are unvaccinated. All six patients in ICU and all five patients on ventilators are unvaccinated.

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