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Twenty-two West Virginia counties are red on the virus alert map

Active COVID-19 cases again above 7K

CHARLESTON — Active cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus jumped to over 7,100 as of Thursday, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said.

The state reported 7,113 active cases on Thursday from 6,267 on Wednesday, an increase of 846 cases in the 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday mornings. Also reported were 1,466 new cases received in the 24-hour period.

The pandemic high was 29,744 set on Sept. 16.

The latest surge in cases is being fueled by the unvaccinated and the more infectious delta variant, according to state health officers. Some breakthrough cases, those who have been infected despite being vaccinated, have occurred, attributed by health officials to lessened immunity months after vaccination, which is why state health officials are encouraging people to get a booster shot.

“We know that the potency of the immune response is not up to speed if you’re in that six months out window,” Dr. Clay Marsh, COVID leader in West Virginia, said.

The number of active cases in Wood County increased by 10 percent from Wednesday to Thursday, from 301 on Wednesday to 335 on Thursday.

Active cases in local counties: Calhoun 37 (34); Doddridge 30 (31); Gilmer 17 (11); Jackson 69 (66); Pleasants 29 (19); Ritchie 35 (21); Roane 59 (46); Tyler 28 (24); Wetzel 77 (66); Wirt 29 (26).

Fifty deaths were reported on Thursday, 38 of those from the data reconciliation with death certificates by the Bureau of Public Health. Among the reconciliation deaths, the youngest was a 41-year-old woman from Ritchie County and the oldest was a 102-year-old woman from Wood County.

DHHR reported the deaths a 55-year-old man from Raleigh County, a 51-year-old man from Kanawha County, a 73-year-old woman from Lewis County, a 90-year-old woman from Raleigh County, an 86-year-old man from Cabell County, a 65-year-old woman from Raleigh County, a 68-year-old man from Berkeley County, a 53-year-old woman from Cabell County, a 76-year-old woman from Putnam County, an 87-year-old woman from Harrison County, a 68-year-old woman from Kanawha County and a 77-year-old woman from Kanawha County.

From the reconciliation, deaths were confirmed in Kanawha, Ritchie, Harrison, Logan, Cabell, Greenbrier, Mingo, Upshur, Raleigh, Doddridge, Wyoming, Wood, Kanawha, Marion, Monongalia, Hancock, McDowell, Logan, Greenbrier, Ohio, Mineral, Mercer, Hampshire, Preston, Hancock, Mineral, Nicholas and Summers County. The deaths range from September through November.

The death count in West Virginia since the pandemic began was 4,945 as of Thursday.

“We offer our condolences to these grieving families,” DHHR Secretary Bill J. Crouch said. “COVID-19 vaccines are safe and FDA-authorized for children ages five years and older. Please make the choice to protect all eligible members of your family by scheduling appointments for this life-saving vaccine.”

Of the 3,835 deaths since vaccinations started in December 2020, 10.87 percent of those were vaccinated residents.

Twenty-two counties, up from 18 on Wednesday, are red on the County Alert System map Thursday, the highest level based on infection rate and percent of positive cases. Wood, Wirt and Wetzel are red.

Pleasants, Ritchie, Doddridge, Jackson, Calhoun and Roane are orange, second highest. Tyler is yellow, second lowest, and Gilmer is gold, mid-level.

The state reported 570 people are in a hospital, 443 of those are unvaccinated. Of the 193 people in an intensive care unit, 163 are unvaccinated, and of the 95 patients on a ventilator, 82 are unvaccinated.

WVU Medicine Camden Clark reported six of the 27 COVID patients were vaccinated. Two of the five patients in ICU are vaccinated and one of the three patients on a ventilator are vaccinated.

Information about the coronavirus, testing and vaccinations is available at coronavirus.wv.gov.

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