CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Many public officials tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, including President Joe Biden and West Virginia representatives Senator Joe Manchin and Congresswoman Carol Miller, so some might be wondering if there could be a massive spike in COVID cases again.
According to health officials, a COVID spike is already in progress. In West Virginia, 16% of people who were tested over the weekend were COVID positive, upping West Virginia’s COVID cases by 2,232. Comparatively, the cumulative percent positivity for the state is almost half of that at 8.28%, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources dashboard.
According to the CDC, 43 counties in West Virginia are at high risk for COVID infection. In north central West Virginia, Harrison, Lewis, Doddridge, Ritchie, Gilmer and Upshur counties are designated and are recommended to wear masks in indoor public places, according to the CDC.
Nationally, 42% of counties are designated as high-risk, and only 20% have low risk. Most of the low-risk areas are in the Midwest and New England.
Should I be worried?
While cases on are on the rise, COVID deaths don’t seem to be following suit. Biden and Manchin both revealed that they are experiencing mild symptoms, and the White House said that Biden likely contracted the BA.5 variant of COVID, which is less deadly.
Health outlets generally say that BA.4 and BA.5, which are subvariants of the Omicron variant, are more easily transmitted but are less likely to cause severe illness. While early COVID cases back in 2020 often caused severe lung problems, especially for those who were older or had health problems, President Biden, who is 79 years old, is experiencing “no shortness of breath at all,” according to an update from the White House. “His pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate and temperature remain entirely normal. His oxygen saturation continues to be excellent on room air. His lungs remain clear.”
In West Virginia, fewer than 70 deaths have been attributed to COVID in the past month. Comparatively, on March 10, 2022, the DHHR confirmed 56 West Virginia COVID deaths in one day.
At-home COVID tests can be ordered and delivered to your house for free. If you test positive at home, make sure to report the test to your local health department.
Current active cases per county in West Virginia: Barbour (20), Berkeley (160), Boone (59), Braxton (18), Brooke (15), Cabell (164), Calhoun (8), Clay (11), Doddridge (11), Fayette (102), Gilmer (5), Grant (16), Greenbrier (60), Hampshire (17), Hancock (36), Hardy (26), Harrison (111), Jackson (36), Jefferson (52), Kanawha (347), Lewis (29), Lincoln (46), Logan (81), Marion (102), Marshall (57), Mason (54), McDowell (55), Mercer (189), Mineral (50), Mingo (50), Monongalia (192), Monroe (35), Morgan (14), Nicholas (65), Ohio (44), Pendleton (7), Pleasants (5), Pocahontas (17), Preston (42), Putnam (113), Raleigh (163), Randolph (18), Ritchie (11), Roane (22), Summers (18), Taylor (22), Tucker (5), Tyler (9), Upshur (48), Wayne (42), Webster (26), Wetzel (22), Wirt (8), Wood (173), Wyoming (51).