Randolph child COVID-19 cases rising
ELKINS — Local and state officials are pleading with the public to be extra cautious this week as positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise and death numbers are still climbing in West Virginia.
As of Monday afternoon, there were 132 positive active cases in Randolph County, a jump from the 98 that were reported at this time last week. Statewide there were 13,678 active cases. State officials report there have been 28 coronavirus-related deaths since Friday.
“We have had more positive cases reported in children the past week than in all the months before,” Bonnie Woodrum, the Randolph-Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist, told The Inter-Mountain Monday afternoon. “Symptoms for positive patients may be so mild or so ordinary that they’re not noticed by many people, but they’re still contagious. We’ve had reports of mild sore throats that disappear during the day, mild or severe headaches, sinus or allergy symptoms, upset stomach and diarrhea, tiredness, body aches, loss of taste and smell — or no symptoms at all.”
Woodrum warns that just because someone has been tested and the results came back negative, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are totally in the clear.
“Many people report symptoms that appeared late in the quarantine period, just when they’d started to believe their test results had been false,” said Woodrum. “Some have not taken quarantine seriously and have spread the virus to others. We have several reports of entire families infected as COVID has spread from person to person.”
With an all-time high of 463 COVID patients currently hospitalized in the Mountain State, including a record 136 in intensive care, citizens are encouraged to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with only those in their immediate households.
“The recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control is that you don’t travel and stay home during Thanksgiving,” said Woodrum. “I know it’s hard to not go anywhere or join other people for the holiday, but stay home and stay safe for the holiday and until the risk exposure decreases.”
To date there have been 667 coronavirus deaths in West Virginia and 41,114 total cases. It has claimed the lives of 255,958 Americans.
“With the anticipation of a vaccine coming soon, there is now hope that COVID-19 may diminish in the coming weeks,” Woodrum said. “Meanwhile, the crisis continues to grow with more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths each week than in the months before. There are many things to be thankful for this week and one is that we have good information on how this deadly virus spreads and how we can keep ourselves and loved ones safe.”
Officials said the best protection against COVID continues to be to wear a mask in public, practice social distancing (6 feet apart), wash hands with soap and water often and for 20 seconds, and clean and disinfect touched objects and surfaces daily.