Local, West Virginia health leaders see increase in COVID cases

WTAP News @ 5- Local, WV Health Leaders Increase in COVID Cases
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 5:28 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - While the “omicron” variant is not a factor-yet-the winter “spike” in coronavirus cases appears to be taking hold in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

Tuesday, the West Virginia county alert map at showed nearly all of the counties served by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department in the “red”. On Wednesday, only Ritchie County had moved from red to the lower level of “orange”.

The health department sees that as a sign cases are rising as we’re in the holiday season, and state health officials in West Virginia see the same.

”We currently rank 14th in the country with the highest number of deaths per 100,000 people,” Dr. Clay Marsh noted at Gov. Jim Justice’s briefing Tuesday. “Over the last week, we find ourselves (with) the third most deaths per 100,000 people in the country. These deaths are occurring largely in people who are not vaccinated, or who have not actively gone to get their booster.”

“We are not getting a lot of younger people who are wanting the vaccine,” says Carrie Brainard of the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department. “So, they’re going to be out with their friends, and that will bring it back to the schools, and I think we’re going to have some hard days before, hopefully, in the spring, it will start to get better. Bur right now, it’s going to get a lot worse.”>

Brainard says the health department has done less testing in the past year-although testing events were held Wednesday and more are scheduled-but doesn’t believe the decrease is because fewer people are being tested.

There are more tests available now, she says, through pharmacies and, more recently, in homes.

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