DHHR reports 13th death as infection rate remains steady in West Virginia on Thursday

A 13th person in West Virginia has died to COVID-19, the state Department of Health and Human Resources reported Thursday.

“The 13th COVID-19 associated death is a 56-year old female from Berkeley County,” the DHHR said in a press release.

Overall, the state identified 21 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, pushing the total to 739. The new cases came from 464 tests, the fifth straight day the positive rate has been above 4 percent.

“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports as of 4:30 p.m., on April 16, 2020, there have been 18,306 laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 739 positive, 17,567 negative and 13 deaths,” according to the press release.

New cases were found Thursday in Berkeley, Cabell, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Mason, Mineral, Mingo, Monroe, Wayne and Wood counties.

In his daily press conference Thursday, Gov. Jim Justice expressed a positive but cautious attitude about the prospect of reopening the state, noting he would rely on his health experts for advice. He also said it would be a tough balancing act between the ongoing damage to the economy and the inevitable health risks associated with reopening.

“If you wait forever, we’re going to lose a lot of people,” Justice said of the economic fallout. “If you go back to work, and even if you’ve got every duck lined up in a row… this is virus is still bad, and we’ve got to watch it. There is no perfect answer here.”

The governor also said he feels pressure from all directions but will make the decision he feels is best for the residents of West Virginia.

“At the end of the day, I’m going to listen to everybody, and I’m going to err on the side of our health officials, because they’re superstars,” Justice said.

The governor also noted that the federal government had deposited over $600 million in a state bank account, although it was not clear yet how that money can used.

CONFIRMED CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (4), Berkeley (105), Boone (2), Braxton (1), Brooke (3), Cabell (28), Fayette (2), Grant (1), Greenbrier (3), Hampshire (6), Hancock (7), Hardy (3), Harrison (29), Jackson (37), Jefferson (57), Kanawha (91), Lewis (2), Lincoln (1), Logan (8), Marion (39), Marshall (7), Mason (10), McDowell (6), Mercer (8), Mineral (7), Mingo (2), Monongalia (83), Monroe (2), Morgan (7), Nicholas (3), Ohio (22), Pendleton (1), Pleasants (1), Preston (6), Putnam (13), Raleigh (6), Randolph (4), Roane (2), Summers (1), Taylor (4), Tucker (4), Tyler (3), Upshur (3), Wayne (72), Wetzel (3), Wirt (2), Wood (27), Wyoming (1).

Want to keep up-to-date with the latest local information about COVID-19? Bookmark our COVID-19 HQ page, which has the latest local news, numbers and morelike the charts below.

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