Wyoming County added eight new Covid-19 cases in the Thursday report from the Department of Health and Human Resources, pushing its schools closer to having to close in-person instruction and stop all athletic competitions.
The county was in gold territory on the state’s color-coded map, which dictates what schools can and cannot do. If the rating holds through Saturday, school doors would be allowed to remain open and athletes could compete, but only because one of two metrics, a seven-day rolling average of cases per 100,000 population, stayed just below the more restrictive orange category, which begins at 15.00 cases, at 13.31 cases. Its daily positive test rate stepped into orange on Thursday, however, moving up from 3.66 percent on Wednesday to 5.25 percent on Thursday. The more restrictive orange begins at 5.00 percent.
Across the rest of The Register-Herald’s nine-county primary market, Mercer County added six cases, Monroe County added five, Fayette and Nicholas counties each added two, Greenbrier and McDowell counties each added one and Summers stood pat with 67 cumulative cases since the DHHR started counting back in March.
The region added, collectively, 32 new cases in the Thursday report.
The Associated Press is reporting new confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations hitting new highs in West Virginia over the past week as outbreaks grew in some of the most rural pockets of the state.
Nearly 240 cases were reported statewide on average over the past seven days Thursday, the highest ever. As Gov. Jim Justice frequently urges more residents to get tested in order to catch infected individuals not showing symptoms, positive cases are on the rise.
Statewide, a record 180 people are currently hospitalized for the virus, including 31 on ventilators.
After a dip, the state’s positive testing rate has been rising for over a week, up to 3.64 percent over seven days. The state recorded about three deaths a day on average over the past seven days, down from the high of over six in late September. There has been a total of 393 virus-linked deaths.
Five counties – Barbour, Doddridge, Mingo, Randolph and Upshur – with populations under 30,000 people have more than 25 cases per 100,000 residents, the most severe category of spread under the state’s metrics.
The smallest of the five, Doddridge County with about 8,500 residents, on Wednesday became the only county in the red category on the state’s color-coded map. Doddridge was the last county in the state to confirm a positive case back in July.
On Thursday, the DHHR confirmed the deaths of a 94-year-old woman from Kanawha County and a 65-year-old man from Cabell County.
The DHHR will host free Covid-19 testing at 14 locations around the state on Friday, including in Wyoming County at Christian Fellowship Worship Center, 1877 Bear Hole Road, Pineville, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and in Nicholas County at the National Guard Armory, 5 Armory Road, Summersville, from noon until 4 p.m.
Cases per county: Barbour (155), Berkeley (1,315), Boone (280), Braxton (30), Brooke (142), Cabell (1,092), Calhoun (32), Clay (50), Doddridge (59), Fayette (697), Gilmer (60), Grant (177), Greenbrier (146), Hampshire (118), Hancock (188), Hardy (100), Harrison (588), Jackson (336), Jefferson (495), Kanawha (3,196), Lewis (62), Lincoln (203), Logan (701), Marion (337), Marshall (231), Mason (155), McDowell (100), Mercer (494), Mineral (196), Mingo (478), Monongalia (2,190), Monroe (175), Morgan (89), Nicholas (160), Ohio (433), Pendleton (63), Pleasants (21), Pocahontas (62), Preston (172), Putnam (739), Raleigh (629), Randolph (360), Ritchie (23), Roane (82), Summers (67), Taylor (157), Tucker (50), Tyler (24), Upshur (203), Wayne (465), Webster (15), Wetzel (71), Wirt (23), Wood (444), Wyoming (152).