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West Virginia ending one of worst weeks during pandemic

FILE - In this March 12, 2020, file photo, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice speaks during a press conference at the State Capitol in Charleston, W.Va. Justice expressed concern Friday about the state's “alarming” number of coronavirus cases as he announced an initiative with schools to get more people vaccinated. (F. Brian Ferguson/Charleston Gazette-Mail via AP, File)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia had one of its worst weeks during the coronavirus pandemic as the number of positive cases neared a seven-day record.

The 6,705 confirmed statewide cases for the six days ending Saturday already surpassed the previous week’s total and were the fourth highest for any week since the first case was reported in the state in March 2020, according to state health data. Virus cases for Sunday will be reported on Monday.

The record is nearly 8,200 confirmed cases for the week ending Jan. 10, followed by about 7,600 cases the week ending Jan. 3.

The number of COVID-19 patients in hospital intensive care units was at 216, just shy of the record 219 set on Jan. 6. On July 4, there were only 17 virus patients in hospital ICUs.

And the number of patients on hospital ventilators has surpassed the previous high of 104 set on Jan. 10.