There have been an additional five coronavirus-related deaths in West Virginia, bringing the state’s death toll to 19 over the past 72 hours.
On Thursday, October 22, the W.Va. Department of Health and Human Resources confirmed the deaths of a 77-year-old Upshur County man, a 77-year-old Marshall County man, an 80 year-old Brooke County man and a 73-year old Hancock County Female. Also confirmed to be deceased is a 95-year old Greenbrier County man, marking the fifth death within the county.
The Greenbrier County Health Department posted the following statement on social media, “It is with great regret that we announce our fifth COVID-19 death. We lost a 95-year-old male resident due to complications of the virus. We offer our sincere condolences to his family.”
Greenbrier County has now had a total of 165 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 27 of those cases remain active, and two county residents are currently hospitalized due to the virus. There have been 18 new cases identified within the last seven days; 10 of which have been confirmed, and eight are believed probable. There have been 12,327 laboratory tests performed in Greenbrier County since the onset of the pandemic, with 116 tests conducted on Wednesday, October 21. This brings the county’s seven-day testing average to 92, a seven-day high. Three new cases have been identified throughout Greenbrier County in the last 24 hours, making the daily positivity-rate 1.72%. The county’s cumulative positivity-rate is 1.34%. The infection rate has spiked over the past week; now reaching 7.42%. However, at 1.55%, the county’s percent positive has remained stable.
Monroe County continues to struggle as well. At 29.59%, the infection rate continues to rise. The county’s percent positive is however holding stable at 5.48%. Monroe County has performed a total of 6,238 laboratory COVID-19 tests, which have yielded 208 confirmed cases. There were 108 tests conducted across the county on Wednesday, October 21, with seven positive and one probable case having been identified within the last 24 hours. Monroe County’s seven-day testing average is 79. There are 50 active cases, and the county’s cumulative positivity-rate is now 3.43%. This is well above the state’s number of 2.84%. The county’s daily positivity-rate is 6.48%.
Unlike its neighbors to the south, Pocahontas County has experienced very little movement in the spread of COVID-19 over the last week. While the infection rate has increase to 5.20%, the county’s percent positive has decreased to 0.58%. Pocahontas County currently has five active cases, with two more probable cases being identified within the last 24 hours. The county’s daily positivity-rate is 0.00%.
Another alarming trend within Greenbrier County is the significant increase in crisis situations encountered by residents. Between the months of April and September, the Greenbrier County office of Seneca Health Services reports an increase in call volume of more than 140%. The Greenbrier County Health Department and the county 911 Center, as well as the Family Refuge Center in Lewisburg have also reported similar increases in call volume.
According to a statement released by the Greater Greenbrier COVID-19 Taskforce, staff members from all three locations have seen substantial “increase in mental health issues, depression, fear, and hopelessness as well as substance use concerns.”
“These issues are happening here and across the nation in the wake of COVID,” said County Health Officer Dr. Bridget Morrison. “They are happening in children, the elderly and everyone.”
Those who are struggling with any such concerns and in need of immediate help should contact crisis service at 304-497-0500. Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
There were 8,475 laboratory tests performed in West Virginia on Wednesday, October 21, bringing the state’s seven-day average to 7,228. There have been 704,001 tests completed statewide, accounting for 39.117% of West Virginia’s total population. 323 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the last 24 hours, bringing the state’s daily positivity-rate to 2.73%. West Virginia’s cumulative positivity-rate is 2.84%. There are currently 188 residents hospitalized due to the virus, with 63 being cared for in the ICU and 21 being assisted with ventilators.