The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in West Virginia crossed the 1,500 mark on Monday, with 12 new positive tests taking the total to 1,502. One additional death was also reported.
“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports as of 5 p.m. on May 18, 2020, there have been 77,760 laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 1,502 positive, 76,258 negative and 68 deaths,” according to a press release.
The death announced Monday was an 86-year old female from Kanawha County. Earlier in the day, West Virginia Wesleyan College said former women’s basketball head coach Mike Bari, 58, had passed away in Louisiana due to the virus. Read that story by tapping here.
At his daily press briefing, Governor Jim Justice announced indoor malls would be permitted to open this Thursday, May 21, with “strict guidelines to keep shoppers safe,” which are posted on his website.
“If the big box stores are open, naturally our malls ought to be open,” he said during the briefing, which was still being held remotely.
In a press release, the Meadowbrook Mall in Bridgeport confirmed it would resume normal hours Thursday.
“We look forward to welcoming our friends, neighbors, merchants and visitors,” the release says. “They can rest assured that extensive measures are in place to make every visit a safe and healthy one. All businesses and patrons are urged to follow the state’s guidelines for protecting the health of employees, customers and their families.”
In addition, the governor also laid out Week 5 reopenings, saying state park cabins and lodges will open to in-state residents only on Tuesday, May 26, the first day of ‘Week 5.’
Indoor-outdoor bars at 50 percent capacity, museums, zoos and visitor centers are allowed to open as well on May 26, the day after Memorial Day.
Justice previewed the subsequent weeks, saying spas and massage businesses may open Saturday, May 30, along with limited video lottery retailers; casinos are projected to open June 5.
However, COVID-19 czar Dr. Clay Marsh cautioned West Virginians to practice social distancing and good hygiene, saying that the state is at risk for a second wave of COVID-19.
“This is when we have the greatest risk of starting a second wave of spread,” Marsh said. “Even though we’ve done well so far, we have the most vulnerable state health-wise.”
About 511 of the West Virginia cases remain active, according DHHR data. Of the cases that are no longer active, 922 people have recovered and 68 have died, a mortality rate of about 6.9 percent.
New cases were reported Monday in Berkeley, Hardy, Jefferson, Marshall, Mercer, Mineral, Raleigh and Wood counties.
CONFIRMED CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (7), Berkeley (215), Boone (9), Braxton (2), Brooke (3), Cabell (56), Calhoun (2), Clay (2), Fayette (38), Gilmer (8), Grant (6), Greenbrier (9), Hampshire (12), Hancock (12), Hardy (31), Harrison (35), Jackson (135), Jefferson (101), Kanawha (203), Lewis (5), Lincoln (5), Logan (15), Marion (48), Marshall (25), Mason (15), McDowell (6), Mercer (13), Mineral (29), Mingo (3), Monongalia (116), Monroe (6), Morgan (17), Nicholas (9), Ohio (37), Pendleton (5), Pleasants (2), Pocahontas (8), Preston (15), Putnam (29), Raleigh (12), Randolph (7), Ritchie (1), Roane (9), Summers (1), Taylor (8), Tucker (4), Tyler (3), Upshur (6), Wayne (96), Wetzel (7), Wirt (3), Wood (48), Wyoming (3).
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