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MOV Health Board: no mask mandate, encouraging vaccinations

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 4:44 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - If there is a mask mandate for the local area, it’s not likely to come from the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department.

That was discussed recently by the health board, one of many issues related to the current rise in COVID-19 cases.

That, according to Wood County Commission President Blair Couch, is what Health Officer Dr. Charles Whitacare told the board last week. Couch is the commission’s representative to the board.

In Wood County, 40% of the county’s population is fully vaccinated, according the the West Virginia DHHR in its Monday report.

”(Dr. Whiticare) believes that the only safe and secure way to keep people from getting sick is to get vaccinated,” Couch told the commission Monday. “He talked about vaccine hesitancy and how the health department is trying to overcome that.”

Counties surrounding Wood County are showing even smaller percentages of their populations are fully vaccinated.

Couch says the discussion last week was that some refusing to be vaccinated were concerned about how it would affect their abilities to have children.

In terms of the infection rate, most area counties are now yellow on West Virginia’s color-coded map. Only Pleasants County was green. A few weeks ago, all of the state’s 55 counties were green, the lowest level of transmission.

It was announced Monday that the nation reached the 70% vaccination rate, one month later than the goal set earlier this year by President Biden.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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