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Cases are declining, but is it all because of the vaccines?

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 5:44 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - In West Virginia, the state map that was largely red a few months ago is mostly green, the lowest level for COVID-19 cases and infections.

There are similar numbers for Ohio and Washington County.

State and local officials say that reflects the effectiveness of vaccinations. The nursing director for the Washington County Health Department said it noticed a drop in infections among young people after they were vaccinated.

However, Carrie Brainard of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department in Parkersburg offers other reasons.

“School is out, so there aren’t the gatherings for baseball, basketball, proms, graduations.”

There are fewer public testing events being done, although pharmacies and other health care businesses are offering it.

“There’s not as much testing being done, but people can get tested if they want to.”

And the rate of vaccinations has slowed down as they have been available to younger and younger people.

But health officials agree it’s still important for people to get tested, especially if they have COVID symptoms.

“It’s hard for a lot of people to differentiate between allergy symptoms and COVID. I always say anyone can have a headache or a runny nose. But if you have headache, runny nose or loss of taste or smell, then definitely get tested.”

And local health experts agree that the latest reported variant means the pandemic is far from over.

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