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Doing Our Part

West Virginians must follow doctors’ orders

West Virginia could get through this with the ranking we normally hate to see — 50th in the nation. Now, when COVID-19 is the subject, that would be a very good thing.

As of Tuesday morning, the Mountain State had the lowest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation, at 20. No one else even came close.

Unfortunately, part of the reason for that may be the relatively low number of people in our state who have been tested for the disease. As of Tuesday morning, that was just 610. As more test kits become available, the number of confirmed infections will increase.

Almost beyond doubt, some of those cases will prove to be fatal.

For about a week, Gov. Jim Justice and other state officials had held off on the drastic action taken in harder-hit states. But on Monday afternoon, Justice issued a “stay at home” order. Essentially, that means that if you do not have to leave your home to work in what the state terms an essential job, or to obtain basic supplies or health care, you should remain in your residence. The order went into effect at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

That step might not have been necessary, had so many people in our state not followed doctors’ orders. We were warned to do just two things — practice stepped-up personal hygiene and avoid contact with one another. We could not manage to do it.

Most of the state’s 20 cases appear to have resulted from West Virginians coming in contact with COVID-19 carriers outside the state. But on Monday, it was revealed two of our confirmed patients caught the virus from “community contact.” Officials have not determined the precise circumstances of the contact.

Unfortunately, it may have been any number of situations. We simply have not practiced the “social distancing” necessary to keep from spreading the virus.

That needs to change, fellow Mountaineers. If it does not, people in our state will die. Surely we can all do our part to avoid that.

Can’t we?

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