CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The toll on West Virginia’s older population during the coronavirus pandemic kept mounting with the reported deaths Thursday of nine senior citizens from six different counties.
One of the deadliest days yet during the virus outbreak pushed the number of deaths statewide to 199, an increase of 71% this month alone. West Virginia began the month of August with 116 deaths.
The deaths reported Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Resources included three residents of Logan County, two from Monroe County and one apiece from Clay, Fayette, Kanawha and Mercer counties.
The deaths were reported a day after West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice made yet another plea for residents to wear masks, keep their distances and self-quarantine upon returning from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a favorite vacation destination.
“We have got to be more careful for our elderly,” Justice said Wednesday.
The virus usually results in only mild to moderate symptoms, but is particularly dangerous for the elderly and people with other health problems.
West Virginia has the nation’s third-oldest population with nearly 20% of its 1.8 million residents over age 65.