A 13th COVID-19 case reported in Upshur County as governor fires top health official Wednesday afternoon

A 13th COVID-19 case was reported in Upshur County Wednesday afternoon, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

According to the Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department, nine of those cases are active.

In his virtual press briefing Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice advised anyone who may have attended a livestock auction at the Buckhannon Stockyards to contact their local health department, saying 10 cases have been linked to two auctions.

Just before the 5 p.m. DHHR report was released, Justice also announced that State Health Officer and Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health, Dr. Cathy Slemp, had resigned.

“After the governor expressed to Secretary Crouch his lack of confidence in Dr. Slemp’s leadership of the Bureau for Public Health due to a series of recent events involving issues under her direct control, Secretary Crouch then asked for Dr. Slemp’s resignation, which she offered immediately,” according to a press release.

In recent news briefings, Justice has seemed frustrated by the rise in COVID-19 cases in West Virginia and on Wednesday suggested the number of active cases being reported recently may have been too high due to a miscalculation involving the Huttonsville prison.

Ninety cases were removed from the active list earlier this week but as of Wednesday the overall total remains higher than it had been at any point prior to the middle of June.

Unlike previous spikes, which were often linked to a single facility, the recent surge has been more widespread, with numerous smaller outbreaks across the state, many related to travel. West Virginia is now nearly two months into its reopening plan, dubbed by Justice as “The Comeback.”

Overall, the DHHR announced Wednesday that 36 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Mountain State.

No additional deaths were reported.

“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports as of 5 p.m. on June 24, 2020, there have been 156,960 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 2,629 total cases and 92 deaths,” according to a press release.

New cases were reported Wednesday in Berkeley, Brooke, Cabell, Fayette, Greenbrier, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Mercer, Nicholas, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh, Upshur, Wayne and Wood counties.

About 682 West Virginia cases remain active, according DHHR data. Of the cases that are no longer active, 1,855 people have recovered and 92 have died, a mortality rate of about 4.7 percent.

CASES PER COUNTY (Case confirmed by lab test/Probable case): Barbour (15/0), Berkeley (422/18), Boone (19/0), Braxton (3/0), Brooke (10/1), Cabell (97/3), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (10/0), Fayette (62/0), Gilmer (10/0), Grant (15/1), Greenbrier (52/0), Hampshire (40/0), Hancock (18/2), Hardy (41/1), Harrison (52/1), Jackson (142/0), Jefferson (212/5), Kanawha (263/8), Lewis (15/0), Lincoln (5/0), Logan (21/0), Marion (52/2), Marshall (38/1), Mason (16/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (27/0), Mineral (52/2), Mingo (12/3), Monongalia (145/14), Monroe (8/1), Morgan (19/1), Nicholas (8/0), Ohio (76/0), Pendleton (12/1), Pleasants (4/1), Pocahontas (23/1), Preston (52/12), Putnam (44/1), Raleigh (34/1), Randolph (154/0), Ritchie (2/0), Roane (11/0), Summers (1/0), Taylor (13/1), Tucker (6/0), Tyler (3/0), Upshur (13/1), Wayne (107/1), Wetzel (9/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (57/4), Wyoming (7/0).

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