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Active COVID-19 cases exceed 20K in West Virginia

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — Active cases of the coronavirus have exceeded 20,000 in West Virginia, the first time since the first of September, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources.

The department reported 20,392 active cases, more than 3,000 higher than the last pandemic update on Friday when active cases totaled 17,364 statewide. Also, 3,673 new cases of the virus have been confirmed since the last pandemic update on Friday, the state said.

The number of active cases was the highest on Sept. 16 with 29,744, which was based on the previous guideline of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when active cases were for a period of 10 days. The state on Jan. 6 started using the new five-day guideline, which greatly reduced the number of active cases.

Active cases in Wood County are nearing 1,000 and were listed at 998 on Monday. Active cases in Wood County were 726 on Friday.

The most active cases in Wood County were more than 1,500, under the 10-day guideline, in mid September.

Active cases in other Mid-Ohio Valley counties Monday (Friday) were: Calhoun, 55 (53); Doddridge, 34 (30); Gilmer, 60 (37); Jackson, 134 (98); Pleasants, 73 (54); Ritchie, 94 (56); Roane, 180 (137); Tyler, 92 (52); Wetzel, 155 (138); Wirt, 58 (46).

Nineteen deaths since the Friday report were reported in Monday’s pandemic update. The total number of virus deaths in West Virginia since the pandemic began in 2020 was 5,535.

The confirmed deaths include an 88-year-old woman from Jackson County and an 87-year-old man from Wood County.

The youngest was a 49-year-old woman from Berkeley County. Deaths also were confirmed in Raleigh, Harrison, Hardy, Hampshire, Wyoming, Jefferson, Mercer, Cabell, Marshall, Pocahontas, Mingo and Monongalia counties.

“As West Virginians, we must not tire of preventive measures that ensure the health and safety of our friends, family and neighbors,” department Secretary Bill J. Crouch said. “I urge you to get vaccinated or boosted.”

Statewide hospitalizations totaled 854 residents, of which 605 are unvaccinated. Two hundred patients are in an intensive care unit, 168 of whom are unvaccinated, and 116 people are on ventilators, 106 of whom are unvaccinated.

During his online COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Jim Justice said the state has received requests from 13 hospitals for assistance by the West Virginia National Guard and 115 Guard members have been or are being deployed.

“We always call on the Guard. And they’re always there,” Justice said.

Pediatric cases totaled 14 with two children in an intensive care unit.

At WVU Medicine Camden Clark, 23 of 53 COVID patients have been vaccinated. Two of seven COVID patients in the ICU are vaccinated and one of seven ventilated patients are vaccinated.

State officials believe the lastest surge of cases are of the omicron strain of the virus, which may be less severe than the delta variant, but is more contagious than delta.

The latest number of omicron cases in West Virginia as of Monday was 413.

Ten cases are now in Wood County and four in Jackson, two more in each county from last week.

Information about local COVID testing sites is available at https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/pages/testing.aspx.

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