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Case numbers still rising in Randolph

ELKINS — With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across the area, local officials are asking the public to not ignore the usual sniffles and sneezes that come with changes in the weather this time of year.

The number of active cases in Randolph County in the last week has jumped from 22 to 35, and although officials say that some of those active cases will be coming off quarantine sometime in the next day or two, six new cases were confirmed Monday morning.

“It seems we are getting more positive cases for people who are having mild to moderate symptoms,” Bonnie Woodrum, the Randolph-Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist, said during Monday’s COVID-19 update conference call for county officials. “Whereas in the past we were having mostly asymptomatic patients. So don’t ignore the fact that if you have sniffles or an upset stomach, you may have been exposed. Follow up because it may be COVID.”

On Saturday Randolph County moved to gold (elevated community transmission) on the School Alert System Map. Counties in gold have 10.0-14.9 cases of COVID-19 infection per 100,000 people, or 4.0 – 4.9 percent positivity rate.

“It’s a big deal to change colors as far as what freedom we have in the county,” said Woodrum. “It also reflects the fact that we’ve got increasing numbers. If we want our schools to stay open and our businesses to stay open, we need to individually try to make that happen by taking all the precautions we can.”

Woodrum said the health department is currently contact tracing at least two hundred individuals in the area.

She also said that recent positive tests were not discriminative to any age group, as young children to seniors have contracted the virus.

“We can do all the contact tracing, all the advising, and all the instructing, but if the public does not comply, our work is for not,” said Woodrum. “We’re in the prevention business, we don’t want it to go any further.”

Later this week the Davis Medical Center will start doing the rapid antigen tests for those who are symptomatic only. Tests are expected to be available at Direct Care of Elkins, the Hospital’s Emergency Department, and the Hospital’s Drive Thru testing facility.

Today in Upshur County, free COVID-19 testing will be offered at Buckhannon-Upshur High School from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Free testing will also be available today in Barbour County, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Barbour County Fairgrounds.

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