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Randolph’s case numbers heading down

ELKINS — Local health officials are hopeful that the recent decline in active COVID-19 cases in Randolph County continues to spiral in a downward direction.

The Randolph-Elkins Health Department reported Tuesday a total of 121 active cases in the county. That number is down from the 130 reported last week and the 201 the week before. On Sept. 3, a total of 455 active cases were reported in the county.

“The numbers are continuing to decline in the county, which is a good thing,” Bonnie Woodrum, the Randolph-Elkins Health Department’s infectious disease specialist, told The Inter-Mountain Tuesday. “Outbreaks have phases and the numbers do go up and go down.

“Some of the experts predict that we may have one more wave and I hope if that does happen it’s more like the first alpha kind and not the delta.”

Woodrum said the best defense against having another surge of hospitalizations and deaths is to be vaccinated.

“It’s still imperative that people be vaccinated, that’s the best insurance that we have,” Woodrum said. “The hospitalizations and deaths during this delta surge have been almost 100 percent among unvaccinated people. Only 1 to 2 percent of the people hospitalized are vaccinated.

“I’m hopeful the numbers continue to go down and that people will be vaccinated, so if there is another wave everyone will be better protected.”

With COVID-19 numbers continuing to decline, many residents may wonder if it’s safe to go out and socialize as they did before the pandemic began.

“I think with precautions, we can do some of the normal things,” said Woodrum. “And everybody knows what the precautions are. They include wearing a mask and washing your hands. And if people will take these precautions, they can help prevent some of the other things that make us sick, like colds and the flu. If we can do that we can keep the number of absences down in schools and in the workplace.”

The Department of Health and Human Resources announced Tuesday that the number of active cases in West Virginia had dipped below 10,000, reporting that there were 9,861 statewide.

The DHHR reported 19 new deaths, running the total since the pandemic began to 3,995. One local death was included in the report as the virus claimed the life of a 63-year Randolph County man.

Hospitalizations in the Mountain State dropped from 840 to 820 on Tuesday, with 248 patients in ICU units and 171 on ventilators.

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