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West Virginia governor sounds the alarm as COVID-19 deaths, hospitalizations mount

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said new COVID-19 mitigation measures could be announced as soon as Wednesday as state hospitals begin to struggle with the surge in new cases.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources announced Tuesday that 976 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Mountain State.

Locally, new cases were reported in Upshur (9), Barbour (19), Randolph (25) and Webster (1) counties.

A total of 114 cases are currently active in Upshur County, according to the DHHR. Tuesday’s update:

  • Added one probable case to Nov. 27
  • Removed one probable and one confirmed case from Nov. 28
  • Removed one probable case from Nov. 29
  • Added six probable and five confirmed cases to Nov. 30

In a remote press briefing Monday, Justice said he was considering new ‘pinpoint’ actions that would target counties experiencing the worst outbreaks. Increased testing is no longer sufficient to control the spread of the virus, he said, calling the situation ‘critical.’

State COVID-19 czar Clay Marsh said hospitals across the state have begun discussing ways they can work together to help mitigate the surge in hospitalizations, which is beginning to strain capacity. Nearly 600 West Virginians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the DHHR.

Hospitals are looking at ways to relocate patients to areas where capacity is greatest, as well as delaying non-urgent surgeries. However, Marsh warned that “perhaps the worst days are ahead of us.”

That cautionary comment comes as virus continues to kill residents at an increasing rate. November was the state’s deadliest month, with nearly 300 people dying from COVID-19.

Twenty-three additional deaths were attributed to the disease on Tuesday, according to the DHHR – a 99-year old male from Marshall County, a 72-year old male from Fayette County, a 91-year old male from Harrison County, an 81-year old male from Wood County, an 88-year old male from Raleigh County, an 82-year old female from Kanawha County, a 65-year old male from Cabell County, a 59-year old female from Mercer County, a 90-year old female from Pocahontas County, a 69-year old male from Mercer County, a 77-year old male from Harrison County, a 55-year old female from Harrison County, a 60-year old male from Boone County, a 76-year old female from Lincoln County, a 68-year old male from Berkeley County, a 66-year old female from Wyoming County, a 79-year old female from Berkeley County, an 80-year old female from Hancock County, a 92-year old female from Ritchie County, a 74-year old male from Mineral County, an 83-year old female from Mineral County, a 77-year old male from Mineral County, and a 73-year old male from Lincoln County.

“The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reports as of 10 a.m., December 1, 2020, there have been 1,141,770 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 48,818 total cases and 758 deaths,” according to a press release.

About 16,921 West Virginia cases remain active, according DHHR data. Of the cases that are no longer active, 31,139 people have recovered and 758 have died. The daily percent positive was 6.07%.

CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (441), Berkeley (3,374), Boone (663), Braxton (119), Brooke (682), Cabell (2,956), Calhoun (81), Clay (120), Doddridge (125), Fayette (1,177), Gilmer (209), Grant (405), Greenbrier (534), Hampshire (353), Hancock (753), Hardy (295), Harrison (1,463), Jackson (706), Jefferson (1,413), Kanawha (5,785), Lewis (242), Lincoln (433), Logan (1,069), Marion (927), Marshall (1,276), Mason (513), McDowell (629), Mercer (1,374), Mineral (1,356), Mingo (990), Monongalia (3,373), Monroe (379), Morgan (297), Nicholas (371), Ohio (1,613), Pendleton (109), Pleasants (101), Pocahontas (215), Preston (664), Putnam (2,009), Raleigh (1,644), Randolph (718), Ritchie (182), Roane (188), Summers (2748), Taylor (360), Tucker (141), Tyler (141), Upshur (523), Wayne (1,052), Webster (69), Wetzel (415), Wirt (117), Wood (2,639), Wyoming (756).

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