More than 100 new cases of COVID-19 reported on Friday as West Virginia begins counting probable cases

A total of 102 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in West Virginia in Friday as the state Department of Health and Human Resources for the first time included probable cases in their twice-daily report.

Sixty-five of the new cases reported Friday were confirmed, while 37 are probable cases.

Upshur County has six previously-reported confirmed cases — which have recovered — and one new probable case that is active, according to the DHHR dashboard.

“In alignment with updated definitions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the dashboard now includes probable cases,” the DHHR said in the release. “Although a small portion of the cases to date, probable cases are individuals that have symptoms and either serologic (antibody) or epidemiologic (e.g., a link to a confirmed case) evidence of disease, but no confirmatory test.”

The change means Friday’s numbers will be larger than usual, the DHHR says.

“Implementation of these changes will initially result in a one-time larger than usual increase in cases and a one-time unusual decrease in the number of lab tests on the next update,” according to the press release. “Subsequent updates would be anticipated to continue to advance as previously noted.”

In addition to the new cases, a 54-year-old male has been identified as Lewis County’s first COVID-19 related death, the health department announced Friday morning.

“It is with great sadness that the Lewis County Health Department has received notification of our first death related to COVID-19,” according to a press release. “The resident of Lewis County was a 54-year-old-male. No other information regarding the death will be released to protect the patient’s and the family’s privacy.”

That death was the only one announced statewide by the DHHR on Friday.

“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports as of 5 p.m. on May 22, 2020, there have been 82,747 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 1,705 total cases and 72 deaths,” according to the release.

In his daily remote video briefing, Gov. Jim Justice said the National Guard had begun investigating the surge of new cases in the Eastern Panhandle this week, but the situation is believed to be in hand.

“Everyone concluded at this time that things are OK,” Justice said, adding that contact tracing is underway and additional restrictions will not be imposed on the panhandle counties.

CASES PER COUNTY (Case confirmed by lab test/Probable case): Barbour (7/0), Berkeley (256/8), Boone (9/0), Braxton (2/0), Brooke (3/0), Cabell (57/2), Calhoun (2/0), Clay (2/0), Fayette (42/1), Gilmer (9/0), Grant (6/1), Greenbrier (9/0), Hampshire (13/0), Hancock (15/2), Hardy (35/0), Harrison (38/1), Jackson (135/0), Jefferson (140/3), Kanawha (212/2), Lewis (5/0), Lincoln (5/0), Logan (16/0), Marion (48/0), Marshall (27/0), Mason (15/0), McDowell (6/0), Mercer (13/0), Mineral (36/2), Mingo (3/1), Monongalia (119/1), Monroe (6/1), Morgan (17/0), Nicholas (10/0), Ohio (38/0), Pendleton (6/1), Pleasants (3/1), Pocahontas (24/0), Preston (15/4), Putnam (31/0), Raleigh (14/1), Randolph (28/0), Ritchie (1/0), Roane (8/0), Summers (1/1), Taylor (8/0), Tucker (4/0), Tyler (3/0), Upshur (6/1), Wayne (97/0), Wetzel (8/0), Wirt (4/0), Wood (48/3), Wyoming (3/0).

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