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Upshur County turns orange on COVID-19 map, schools likely to close next week

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resource reported four new cases of COVID-19 in Upshur County on Thursday, turning the county orange on the statewide alert map.

According to the state Department of Education, counties that are orange must “suspend in-person instruction and activate remote learning following the release of the Saturday Metric map.”

All of the new Upshur County cases have come after the last map release, meaning the county should stay orange even if no additional cases are reported on Friday.

Over the last six days, Upshur County has reported 27 new COVID-19 cases out of 211 tests, according to the DHHR. That’s a 12.8% positivity rate, which would place Upshur in the red category and is far above the 4.9% required for gold.

Upshur County is not listed as red because the state map uses the ‘best’ metric in determining the color, a decision that has been questioned by health professionals and is the subject of an upcoming lawsuit announced by teacher groups.

Only two other counties in West Virginia are currently orange — Kanawha and Boone. Unless the committee that reviews the Saturday map manually intervenes, Upshur will likely close all schools and cease sports competitions for the next week.

Twenty-nine cases are active in Upshur County, according to the DHHR.

Statewide, the DHHR announced Thursday that 176 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Mountain State.

Four additional deaths have been attributed to the disease, according to the DHHR – a 70-year old female from Ohio County, a 79-year old male from Berkeley County, a 61-year old male from Kanawha County, and a 48-year old female from Marion County.

“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports as of 10 a.m., October 1, 2020, there have been 567,801 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 16,024 total cases and 354 deaths,” according to a press release.

New cases were reported Thursday in Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Cabell, Doddridge, Fayette, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDowell, Mercer, Mingo, Monongalia, Morgan, Nicholas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Tucker, Upshur, Wayne, Wetzel and Wyoming counties.

About 4,068 West Virginia cases remain active, according DHHR data. Of the cases that are no longer active, 11,602 people have recovered and 354 have died. The daily percent positive was 2.67%.

CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (83), Berkeley (1049), Boone (240), Braxton (13), Brooke (114), Cabell (858), Calhoun (25), Clay (37), Doddridge (28), Fayette (634), Gilmer (48), Grant (162), Greenbrier (129), Hampshire (109), Hancock (150), Hardy (92), Harrison (402), Jackson (278), Jefferson (439), Kanawha (2772), Lewis (38), Lincoln (179), Logan (627), Marion (292), Marshall (182), Mason (144), McDowell (90), Mercer (430), Mineral (174), Mingo (392), Monongalia (2059), Monroe (151), Morgan (58), Nicholas (114), Ohio (375), Pendleton (53), Pleasants (18), Pocahontas (59), Preston (158), Putnam (590), Raleigh (538), Randolph (259), Ritchie (13), Roane (55), Summers (56), Taylor (131), Tucker (37), Tyler (16), Upshur (91), Wayne (407), Webster (7), Wetzel (61), Wirt (12), Wood (375), Wyoming (121).

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