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West Virginia Univ. reports highest student virus cases

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University reported its highest number of daily coronavirus cases among students for the second straight day.

The 48 confirmed student cases reported Thursday out of 408 tests given equates to a positive case rate of 11.8%. It marks the fourth straight time that the rate has exceeded 10%. By comparison, the statewide seven-day positive average was 2.94%.

The previous high of 38 positive student cases was reported Wednesday.

On Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice shut down bars indefinitely in Monongalia County, citing crowds of unmasked students and an increase in positive coronavirus cases. Justice had allowed the bars to reopen on Monday. Monongalia County includes the WVU campus in Morgantown.

Classes began Aug. 26 with a mix of online and in-person offerings. WVU President Gordon Gee said in a letter Tuesday that students must make “the right choices” as far as social distancing and wearing masks in order for the Morgantown campus to remain open during the pandemic.

There have been at least 10,650 confirmed cases statewide since the pandemic began. The number of reported virus-related deaths has more than doubled since Aug. 1, increasing by seven Thursday to at least 237.

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