Six additional deaths, 18 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in West Virginia on Monday

Six more people in West Virginia have died of COVID-19, the state Department of Health and Human Resources said Monday.

The new deaths reported Monday include:

  • A 98-year old woman from Wayne County
  • A 53-year old man from Wood County 
  • An 85-year old female from Monongalia County
  • A 78-year old female from Jackson County
  • A 79-year old female from Jackson County
  • A 95-year old female from Jackson County

Overall, West Virginia identified just 18 new cases of the virus on Monday. With 682 test results, the daily percentage of positives also dipped under 3 percent.

​”The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports as of 5 p.m., on April 20, 2020, there have been 22,357 laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 908 positive, 21,449 negative and 26 deaths,” the DHHR said in a press release.

Locally, county health officials say the number of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in Upshur County is still four.

Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department Nurse Director Sue McKisic said two of the four patients have recovered and/or satisfied their 14-day quarantine period, while two others remain quarantined.

“They’re doing well, and I think one of them is almost finished with their time in quarantine,” McKisic said Monday.

McKisic declined to say whether the health department had identified the source of the latest infection, or if it was community spread. After consulting with Dr. Joseph Reed, she said the health department would not be releasing that information publicly in the future.

So far, just under a third of the people diagnosed with COVID-19 have recovered, according to the DHHR.

Gov. Jim Justice said his administration would begin to reopen outpatient surgical clinics and the general health care sector Monday, April 27.

“We’re going to do everything we can do protect you in every way,” he told state residents during his daily press briefing Monday. “It’s surely a balancing act. We’re going to ease ourselves into a restart. We’re not going to run back into the restart.”

The governor said that on April 27, health care clinics will be able to submit plans for reopening for approval by the DHHR.  

“We’ve got to restart elective surgeries and general care that maybe you’ve been laying to the side that maybe you need to do,” Justice said.

He said clinics would need to satisfy a set of “four or five” criteria before the DHHR would give them the go-ahead to reopen.

“Now, we’re not saying you can go back April 27, but we’re saying you can start submitting plans for our review on April 27,” Justice said.

Without revenue from elective surgeries, the healthcare sector in the state has struggled economically, and governor said he’s worried about the “real possibility” of a recession or even depression if the shutdown continues.

“If you continue down the path that we’re going for very much longer, there is a real, real possibility that the [economic] engine won’t start back, or won’t start back in a way [that will be enough to prevent] a recession and possibly a depression,” Justice said.

“If that were to happen, we will lose lives like you can’t imagine,” he added. “We can’t avoid all risk. There’s risks on both sides.”

During Monday’s press conference, Justice noted his order last week to test every resident and nursing home employee for COVID-19 in the Mountain State would take about a week and would mean testing about 28,000 individuals. The testing will not include assisted living facilities – simply long-term care nursing homes.

“This is a monumental task … and it will be an incredible feat, but it will lead us to saving a whole lot more lives,” he said.

The nursing home testing will cover thousands more people than the entire state has tested since the pandemic began more than a month ago.

New cases were reported Monday in Berkeley, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, Mineral, Monongalia, Ohio, Pleasants and Putnam counties.

CONFIRMED CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (4), Berkeley (113), Boone (2), Braxton (1), Brooke (3), Cabell (34), Fayette (5), Grant (1), Greenbrier (3), Hampshire (6), Hancock (7), Hardy (3), Harrison (30), Jackson (101), Jefferson (61), Kanawha (133), Lewis (2), Lincoln (1), Logan (8), Marion (43), Marshall (8), Mason (10), McDowell (6), Mercer (8), Mineral (9), Mingo (2), Monongalia (89), Monroe (5), Morgan (8), Nicholas (4), Ohio (23), Pendleton (2), Pleasants (2), Preston (10), Putnam (15), Raleigh (7), Randolph (4), Roane (3), Summers (1), Taylor (5), Tucker (4), Tyler (3), Upshur (4), Wayne (78), Wetzel (3), Wirt (2), Wood (31), 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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