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Active COVID cases rising in Randolph

ELKINS — With active COVID-19 cases on the rise once again in Randolph County, local health officials are asking citizens to take extra precautions when out and about in public.

Since hitting single digits with six active cases in the county back on April 4, numbers have started to increase in the wrong direction. Last week the total number of active cases had risen to 13 and this week’s total is at 20, with possibly more to come, according to Bonnie Woodrum, Randolph Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist.

“People think it’s over,” said Woodrum. “The number of cases continues to creep up and we had about 20 this morning, plus some more that came in. So we all need to continue to take precautions.”

Woodrum said that people just need to go back to doing the simple things that most were doing in the past, like wearing a mask, social distancing and washing their hands regularly.

“People are just not being as careful as they were,” Woodrum said. “It’s really, really important that people take care and not stop doing the things we need to do to keep everyone safe. It’s important that everyone wears their masks except when they are eating. Because you don’t know if a person not wearing a mask has been vaccinated or not.”

Woodrum said there are still active cases of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 in Randolph County, noting that it is more contagious than the original virus.

“There are variants in every county in the state now,” she said. “We’ve got the U.K. variant and it is the biggest one we have now. It’s a lot more contagious and since it’s in our community we have to be very careful in everything we do.”

Thursday will mark the last day for the mass vaccination clinics that have been presented weekly for months at the Phil Gainer Community Center in Elkins. This week’s clinic will be for second doses only and will begin at 8 a.m. Woodrum said the clinic will probably run until around 11 a.m.

“Even with the clinic coming to an end, everyone will still be able to get their vaccinations,” Woodrum said. “The hospital will be offering vaccines through their providers and Valley Health will have vaccines to offer. And we will have some vaccines here at the Health Department to give.”

Woodrum said that in order for everything to return to normal, those who have not been vaccinated yet need to do so.

“In order to have a safe summer, we need to get people vaccinated,” she said. “We want to give out as much protection as possible to everyone out there.”

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