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4 local COVID-related deaths confirmed

The Inter-Mountain photo by Edgar Kelley An employee speaks to a driver at the Alternative Drive-Thru COVID-19 Screening Unit at Davis Medical Center in Elkins.

ELKINS — Much like the rest of the state, active COVID-19 cases and COVID-related deaths continue to rise in Randolph County.

To date, there have been a total of 26 coronavirus-related deaths in Randolph, including a 50-year old woman who was among the 57 new deaths reported by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Friday.

Also confirmed Friday were the COVID-related deaths of an 85-year old female from Tucker County, a 70-year old female from Barbour County and a 59-year old female from Barbour County.

There have been 10 new confirmed deaths in Randolph County since the beginning of September. On Aug. 31, the total number of COVID-related deaths in Randolph County was at 16.

“The number of deaths we’ve had in the month of September is very concerning,” Bonnie Woodrum, the Randolph-Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist, told The Inter-Mountain Friday. “To have that many deaths since the beginning of the month is very serious. Everyone in the community should be taking every precaution they can to keep themselves and everyone else safe.”

Woodrum said the same precautions that have been put in place since the pandemic began should be on the top of everyone’s list, such as wearing a mask when in large groups or gatherings, and washing your hands.

Perhaps the most important precaution to take, Woodrum said, is to get vaccinated. A release from WVU Medicine on Thursday stated that 90 percent of its COVID patients in ICU were unvaccinated.

The same release from WVU stated that nine of its hospitals, including its academic medical center in Morgantown, are now operating at a crisis-level standard of care, and that one of its hospitals declared an emergency crisis due to the high number of COVID patients on its oxygen system.

“There are very few who have been in the hospital that are vaccinated,” Woodrum said. “There have been some breakthrough cases, but most of them are asymptomatic.”

On Friday, there were 412 active coronavirus cases in Randolph County. That number was up from 402 on Tuesday. To date there have been 2,871 active cases since the pandemic began.

As a state, West Virginia hit a new pandemic peak for active cases on Friday with 29,744. The previous peak was 29,257 back on Jan. 10. There were 2,320 new cases reported in the past 24 hours.

West Virginia also reached record highs on Friday in COVID hospitalizations (922), patients in ICU (277) and patients on ventilators (169).

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