The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has reported the deaths of seven additional residents of the state.
Among those confirmed deceased on Wednesday, November 11 are a 71-year-old Cabell County man, a 67-year-old Mingo County woman, a 70-year-old Cabell County Woman, an 84-year-old Cabell County woman, a 41-year-old Raleigh County man, an 80-year-old Wyoming County man and a 71-year-old Kanawha County woman.
The total number of deaths in West Virginia due to complications stemming from COVID-19 are now 553.
The recent spike in coronavirus cases has also been felt in the Greenbrier Valley. While Greenbrier County schools remain designated as green on the color-coded county map, several school locations have been temporarily closed due to the identification of new cases of COVID-19.
The county’s infection rate has experienced a drastic increase over the last seven-days; going from 10.72% on Thursday, November 4 to 19.78% on Tuesday, November 10. Greenbrier County’s percent positive is currently 2.51%.
In a social media post dated Tuesday, November 10, the Greenbrier Valley Medical Center announced that it will be once again temporarily restricting visitors to the facility.
“GVMC is proactively implementing more restrictive visitation guidelines as our community is experiencing an increase of COVID-19 cases,” the post states. “These practices are for the protection of our patients and care-giving teams. We are asking for the community’s understanding and compliance. New visitation guidelines will go into effect Wednesday, November 11: No visitors are permitted to accompany patients in outpatient testing, outpatient surgery, or emergency department. Visitors to inpatient areas are restricted. Exceptions may be made for pediatric patients, laboring mothers, essential caregivers, and end of life situations. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding. Please share with your friends and family. We sincerely hope to welcome visitors back soon.”
On Tuesday, November 10, West Virginia identified 885 new cases of COVID-19; the most the state has identified in a single day since the onset of the pandemic.
“Since Monday, we’ve lost another 23 West Virginians,” Governor Jim Justice said, at his Wednesday, November 11 coronavirus response media-briefing. “You can see, on the television, all across the nation, this thing has amped up and it keeps getting worse and worse. We are all very hopeful that, as it’s done in the past, it will peak and then it will go the other way. But right now we’re still going up.”
At 7,771 active cases, West Virginia now has more than it has at any other point during the pandemic. The cumulative positivity-rate has reached 3.11%, which is the highest it has been since April 24. The daily positivity-rate is 5.90%.
“This killer is with us, and we’ve got to try to do everything we possibly can to follow our guidelines and we’ve got to continue to try to do everything we possibly can to get tested,” Justice said.
West Virginia Senator Stephen Baldwin also believes following the guidelines is the best thing to do.
“This is a very serious situation,” Baldwin said. “Today, by far, we’ve had the most new cases that we’ve seen yet. If we don’t make some changes, it’s going to be a very long winter. If 80% of people would wear masks and social distance properly, that would be the equivalent of a vaccine.”
Baldwin doesn’t believe that further shut downs are the answer.
“Resorting to more shut downs is a reaction, not a solution,” Baldwin said. “There are plenty of places that have been following the guidelines and have been able to open safely. We need to look at who has been successful with this and how…how have they been able to get people to follow the guidelines? That’s the million-dollar question.”
Baldwin feels that following the guidelines, including wearing masks and practicing social distancing, has to become the accepted norm.