Decreases in W.Va. COVID-19 numbers beginning to slow

CHARLESTON — As West Virginia begins the one-year mark today from when Gov. Jim Justice declared a state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, an analysis of data shows that decreases in cases are continuing at a slower rate.

According to data from the Department of Health and Human Resources, the number of positive cases over a 14-day period between March 1 and March 14 was 3,827, which was a 7 percent decrease compared to 4,104 cases between Feb. 15 through Feb. 28.

As of Monday — the most recent data available — the state reported 210 new cases received in a 24-hour period compared to Sunday’s data. The state averaged 298 cases per day over a seven-day period, up from 250 cases the previous seven days.

Active COVID-19 cases — the number of infected people in self-quarantine or hospitalized — was 5,214 cases as of Monday — a 7 percent decrease from 5,613 active cases seven days ago and an 82 percent decrease from a peak of 29,257 active cases on Jan. 10.

All 55 counties have active cases for the 21st week in a row. Active cases have decreased in 39 counties over the last seven days, while cases increased in 16 counties.

West Virginia has fully vaccinated nearly 14 percent of the state’s 1.79 million residents against COVID-19 since the first doses arrived last December, while nearly 22 percent of residents have at least one shot. The state receives weekly shipments of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, both of which require two doses, as well as the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

The state reported 2,531 total COVID-19 deaths as of Monday, with 165 new deaths reported last week due to delayed reporting from hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health. More than 84 percent of those deaths occurred in the months of December and January when cases, hospitalizations, and deaths were at their peak.

There were 65 deaths reported between March 1 and March 14 — a 28 percent decrease from the 90 deaths reported the previous 14 days. Over a seven-day period, the state saw an average of six deaths per day, up from four deaths per day last week.

There were 151 hospitalizations as of Monday, down from 178 hospitalizations the previous week — a 15 percent decrease. The average number of hospitalizations over a 14-day period decreased by 36 percent over the average number of hospitalizations the previous 14 days. The number of infected people in intensive care units was 50 — up from 41 last week, and 23 people are on ventilators — down from 24 last week.

The total number of tests between March 1 and March 14 was 120,364 — a 3 percent increase in testing compared to 116,565 tests over the previous 14-day period. Over the last seven days, the state conducted an average of 8.630 tests per day, up from 8,559 tests per day the previous week.

There were no red counties on DHHR’s County Alert System map Monday for the third week in a row. Counties listed as red either have higher infection rates or high percent of positivity, meaning high schools in those counties would have to go to remote learning. Pre-K, elementary, and middle schools can open for in-person learning regardless of map color.


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