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COVID-19 Surges; Governor Strengthens Mandates

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In the last five days approximately 4,300 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified across the state of West Virginia, bringing the total number of active cases to just 200 shy of 10,000. The state’s cumulative positivity-rate has now reached 3.24%.

Since WVDN’s last reporting, 18 additional West Virginians have succumbed to complications stemming from COVID-19. Among those confirmed deceased are a 71-year old Berkeley County man, a 77-year-old Wayne County man, an 80year-old Marshall County man, an 93year-old Barbour County woman, an 86year-old Kanawha County woman, a 57year-old Kanawha County man, a 91year-old Cabell County man, a 73year-old Wood County man, an 87year-old Marshall County woman, an 83year-old Putnam County woman, a 95year-old Ohio County woman, a 74year-old Ohio County woman, an 84year-old Putnam County woman, a 94year-old Putnam County woman, an 88year-old Jackson County woman and a 78year-old Kanawha County man. Also deceased are an 87year-old Summers County man and a 61year-old Greenbrier County man.

There have been 922.920 laboratory tests conducted state-wide since the onset of the pandemic, 11,008 of which were performed on Saturday, November 14. This brings the seven-day testing average to 10,907. West Virginia’s daily positivity-rate is 5.90%.

As of the time of writing, there have been 582 coronavirus-related deaths in West Virginia. However, this is but a fraction of the total number of deaths across the United States. According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus resource center, 245,652 Americans have lost their lives after contracting the disease. Globally, 1,314,584 people have died after becoming infected. And according to the CDC, the United States has now lost more than a third of the total lives lost during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

There are now 365 West Virginians hospitalized with COVID-19, 113 of whom are being cared for in the ICU. 36 of those infected are being treated with ventilators. 23,077 residents are reported as having recovered.

In an effort to contain the spread of the virus, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice has strengthened his indoor face covering mandate originally issued in July. Through an executive order signed on Friday, November 13, face coverings are now required at all times while in public buildings, regardless of the ability to social distance. Children 9 and under, and those with documented medical conditions are exempt from this requirement. Businesses are also required to post signage making their customers aware of the requirement, and are instructed to contact law enforcement should compliance be refused.

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