Upshur County returns to orange with six new COVID-19 cases Saturday

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Saturday that 221 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Mountain State, including a net increase of six cases in Upshur County.

Saturday’s update in Upshur County removed one confirmed case from Oct. 10; removed two probable cases and added a confirmed case to Oct. 14; removed one probable and added one confirmed case to Oct. 15; and added one probable and seven confirmed cases to Oct. 16.

Because of the cases that were confirmed retroactively, Upshur County was upgraded to orange on the daily map both Thursday and Friday. That means Upshur County could be orange again on the official West Virginia Department of Education school map unless the committee that manually reviews the data intervenes.

With a positivity percentage of 5.01%, Upshur County is just a sliver over gold in that metric. However, the infection rate is closer to red at 23.05.

The official school map will be released at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“Remote learning [is] required,” according to the WVDE’s description of the orange category. “Extracurricular activities are limited to conditioning only and sport-specific practicing is not permitted. Marching band is limited to outdoors only. Staff may report to their schools, as determined by the county. Essential support services, including special education and meals, will continue.”

Gold would permit students to return to school and sports competitions to resume on a limited basis. Gold counties are allowed to participate in playoffs, according to guidance issued this week by the WVSSAC.

Schools in Upshur County have been closed to students for the past two weeks due to the local outbreak in north-central West Virginia. Aggressive testing, with free events held at Buckhannon-Upshur High School every day this week, has helped drive the percentage of positive cases down and should limit the spread of the virus in the coming weeks as new cases are identified early.

Free testing will be available Sunday, Oct. 18 at B-UHS from noon to 4 p.m.

The county’s infection rate ticked up slightly in Saturday’s report but remained in the orange category after being red for much of the last two weeks. The number of active cases in Upshur County dropped to 79 on Saturday, according to the DHHR.

Randolph County schools will almost certainly be closed next week as the outbreak has pushed them into the red category for infection rate and well into orange for positivity percentage.

Statewide, three additional deaths have been attributed to the disease, according to the DHHR – an 84-year old female from Grant County, a 73-year old male from Fayette County, and a 59-year old female from Cabell County.

“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports as of 10 a.m., October 17, 2020, there have been 671,463 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 19,801 total cases and 399 deaths,” according to a press release.

New cases were reported Saturday in Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Doddridge, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Roane, Summers, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood and Wyoming counties.

About 4,839 West Virginia cases remain active, according DHHR data. Of the cases that are no longer active, 14,563 people have recovered and 399 have died. The daily percent positive was 2.51%.

CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (163), Berkeley (1376), Boone (288), Braxton (35), Brooke (192), Cabell (1141), Calhoun (32), Clay (51), Doddridge (65), Fayette (709), Gilmer (62), Grant (178), Greenbrier (153), Hampshire (118), Hancock (185), Hardy (101), Harrison (619), Jackson (345), Jefferson (518), Kanawha (3273), Lewis (64), Lincoln (207), Logan (707), Marion (351), Marshall (241), Mason (161), McDowell (104), Mercer (550), Mineral (202), Mingo (494), Monongalia (2214), Monroe (188), Morgan (95), Nicholas (172), Ohio (452), Pendleton (65), Pleasants (22), Pocahontas (64), Preston (174), Putnam (779), Raleigh (643), Randolph (372), Ritchie (25), Roane (86), Summers (73), Taylor (158), Tucker (51), Tyler (24), Upshur (216), Wayne (484), Webster (19), Wetzel (81), Wirt (28), Wood (468), Wyoming (163).

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