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COVID cases again top 100 in Randolph

ELKINS — After seeing active COVID-19 cases in Randolph County decline over the past month, this week’s numbers took a turn for the worse, according to local health officials.

For the first time in months, last week’s totals dipped below triple digits with 90 active cases reported in the county. But since then, active cases have steadily climbed, jumping to 92 on Friday, and 114 on Monday.

Bonnie Woodrum, the Randolph-Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist, told The Inter-Mountain on Monday that the slight increase in numbers isn’t due to any one particular event.

“There wasn’t any big gathering or a particular event that triggered the numbers to go back up,” Woodrum said. “I just think that people are feeling safer and maybe not taking as many precautions as they once were. I see very few people wearing masks in stores and such, or wearing them correctly.”

Woodrum said there is still time for those who have not been vaccinated to do so before the holiday season begins. Last year the country saw COVID cases surge during the holidays.

“We would like to avoid another wave during the holidays,” she said. “It would be nice to have real holidays. And the only way to do that is to protect each other by being vaccinated.”

The Randolph-Elkins County Health Department is still offering vaccinations and third doses for those with underlying illnesses or compromised immune systems. And there is a free pop-up COVID-19 testing site across the street from the health department that is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

“If anyone wants a third dose or wants to start from scratch, they can call the health department and we will accommodate them,” Woodrum said. “And it’s available at other places too. Hopefully, once we get enough people vaccinated, if you do have symptoms of COVID, it would be no worse than a cold.”

Woodrum said the health department is starting to receive information about booster doses from those who work certain jobs within the community, such as first responders. Those doses are expected to be for those 18 and older.

“We’re getting more information on those booster doses, but we have not yet gotten the final guidelines yet,” said Woorum. “We have to wait on the CDC and the state’s guidelines on how to administer it. But they should be here any time.”

Woodrum said that she also expects vaccination approval for children five years and older in the next few weeks.

“They think the Pfizer vaccine will be approved within the next couple of weeks for children,” she said. “People want it to be safe in the schools and the best way to do that is to vaccinate our children.”

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported on Monday there were 7,867 active cases in the Mountain State. There have been 4,292 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in West Virginia, including an 84-year old Tucker County man who passed away over the weekend.

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