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W.Va. coronavirus numbers continue their downward trend

CHARLESTON — Active COVID-19 cases are down in nearly every West Virginia county, with hospitalizations and death numbers continuing their decline even as testing numbers decrease.

“We are doing really, really well,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, the state coronavirus czar, during Monday’s virtual coronavirus briefing. “Everything is really moving in the right direction.”

According an analysis of data released by the state Department of Health and Human Resources, the number of positive cases over a 14-day period between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7 was 9,024, which was a 32 percent decrease compared to 13,166 cases during the prior 14-day period.

As of Monday — the most recent data available — the state reported 398 new cases received in a 24-hour period compared to Sunday’s data. The state averaged 535 cases per day over a seven-day period, down from 754 cases the previous seven days. The cumulative percent of positive cases was 5.60 percent and has been on the decline since last week for the first time since June 2020.

Active COVID-19 cases — the number of infected people in self-quarantine or hospitalized — was 15,557 cases as of Monday — a 23 percent decrease from 20,165 active cases seven days ago and a 47 percent decrease from a peak of 29,257 active cases on Jan. 10. All 55 counties have active cases for the 16th week in a row. Active cases have decreased in 44 out of 55 counties over the last seven days.

The state reported 2,131 total COVID-19 deaths as of Monday. There were 234 deaths reported between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7 — a 25 percent decrease from the 313 deaths reported the previous 14 days. Over a seven-day period, the state saw an average of 15 deaths per day.

There were 375 hospitalizations as of Monday, down from 438 hospitalizations the previous week — a 14 percent decrease. The average number of hospitalizations between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7 decreased by 32 percent over the average number of hospitalizations the previous 14 days. The number of infected people in intensive care units was 107 — down from 118 last week — and 52 people are on ventilators — up from 48 last week.

The total numbers of tests between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7 were 157,454 — a 17 percent decrease in testing compared to 188,787 tests results between Jan. 11. through Jan. 24. Over the last seven days, the state conducted an average of 10,454 tests per day, down from 12,035 tests per day the previous week.

Even though the state’s testing numbers are down, Marsh said the average weekly testing numbers are staying at a steady rate, with the state ranking 16th in the nation for per-capita testing. Marsh said the focus of testing is changing to locate possible virus variants before they become problems.

“We’re still being relatively aggressive,” Marsh said. “Not only do we want the volume of testing … but it’s also important that we start to track the genetics of the virus. We are developing that capability for in-state use, so if we do happen upon a cluster and we look at a certain group of the percentage of positive cases, we’ll be able to define whether we see any of those variant virus types.”

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