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According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, there have been 1,180,491 total confirmatory laboratory results received statewide for Covid-19, with 52,172 total cases and 799 deaths reported as of Dec. 4.

In the DHHR's Dec. 4 report, the deaths of 20 West Virginians were confirmed: a 53-year old female from Hardy County, a 72-year old female from Lewis County, a 64-year old male from Marshall County, a 55-year old male from Kanawha County, a 65-year old male from Berkeley County, an 82-year old female from Mingo County, a 89-year old male from Brooke County, a 95-year old female from Putnam County, an 85-year old female from Putnam County, and a 94-year old female from Ohio County.

In its Dec. 3 report, the DHHR confirmed the deaths of an 86-year-old Berkeley County man, a 56-year-old Berkeley County woman, an 83-year-old man from Marshall County, an 81-year-old Marshall County man, a 91-year-old Boone County woman, a 77-year-old Hancock County man, a 51-year-old Wood County man, an 87-year-old Mineral County man, a 79-year-old Mineral County woman, an 85-year-old man from Greenbrier County, and a 73-year-old Cabell County woman.

On Dec. 2, the DHHR had confirmed the deaths of 20 more West Virginians from the disease. That included: a 25-year-old Cabell County woman, a 74-year-old man from Hampshire County, a 61-year-old Wyoming County woman, a 59-year-old Pocahontas County man, a 90-year-old Marshall County woman, an 88-year-old woman from Marshall County, an 85-year-old Marshall County man, a 68-year-old Hancock County woman, an 80-year-old Marshall County woman, a 74-year-old man from Greenbrier County, a 99-year-old Wetzel County woman, a 95-year-old Wetzel County man, a 69-year-old McDowell County woman, an 82-year-old Preston County man, an 89-year-old Berkeley County woman, a 54-year-old Mineral County man, a 69-year-old Wayne County woman, a 71-year-old Preston County woman, a 72-year-old man from Preston County, and a 95-year-old woman from Mineral County.

On Tuesday, the DHHR confirmed the deaths of a 72-year-old Fayette County man, a 99-year-old man from Marshall County, a 91-year-old Harrison County man, an 81-year-old man from Wood County, an 88-year-old Raleigh County man, an 82-year-old Kanawha County woman, a 65-year-old Cabell County man, a 59-year-old woman from Mercer County, a 90-year-old Pocahontas County woman, a 69-year-old Mercer County man, a 77-year-old Harrison County man, a 55-year-old Harrison County woman, a 60-year-old man from Boone County, a 76-year-old woman from Lincoln County, a 68-year-old Berkeley County man, a 66-year-old Wyoming County woman, a 79-year-old Berkeley County woman, an 80-year-old Hancock County woman, a 92-year-old Ritchie County woman, a 74-year-old Mineral County man, an 83-year-old Mineral County woman, a 77-year-old Mineral County man, and a 73-year-old Lincoln County man.

On the previous day, the DHHR confirmed the deaths of a 79-year-old Monroe County man, a 93-year-old Brooke County woman, an 87-year-old woman from Brooke County, an 89-year-old Ritchie County woman, an 80-year-old woman from Kanawha County, and an 84-year-old Cabell County man.

"Today is a difficult day as our state continues to feel the effects of this terrible pandemic," DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch said Wednesday. "Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones and to those who are currently battling Covid-19.

"We must continue to pull together as a state and community in fighting this virus and protecting our fellow West Virginians."

Cases per county through Dec. 4 included: Barbour (482), Berkeley (3,617), Boone (703), Braxton (134), Brooke (753), Cabell (3,177), Calhoun (89), Clay (147), Doddridge (130), Fayette (1,226), Gilmer (215), Grant (440), Greenbrier (592), Hampshire (394), Hancock (851), Hardy (347), Harrison (1,581), Jackson (733), Jefferson (1,486), Kanawha (6,023), Lewis (262), Lincoln (455), Logan (1,114), Marion (989), Marshall (1,396), Mason (580), McDowell (663), Mercer (1,423), Mineral (1,491), Mingo (1,023), Monongalia (3,490), Monroe (404), Morgan (326), Nicholas (399), Ohio (1,708), Pendleton (121), Pleasants (118), Pocahontas (239), Preston (751), Putnam (2,135), Raleigh (1,742), Randolph (777), Ritchie (195), Roane (209), Summers (290), Taylor (382), Tucker (168), Tyler (164), Upshur (551), Wayne (1,113), Webster (70), Wetzel (454), Wirt (129), Wood (2,910), Wyoming (811).

Visit the dashboard at www.coronavirus.wv.gov for more information.

• • •

Prior to Thanksgiving, Vickie Gay, president/CEO of Montgomery General Hospital, gave an update on her hospital as the Covid-19 health crisis marches on.

"We're doing fine as far as bed availability goes," Gay said at the time. "With our ER volume being down almost 25 percent, our inpatient acute admission rates are down proportionately. We are running an average census of around 12, with the majority of those being in swing beds (short-term rehab to home type patients who need skilled care post-hospitalization). This has eased the burden on the larger tertiary care facilities by freeing up beds for more acutely ill patients."

"The majority of the Covid-positive patients that we have seen in our ER were either mildly symptomatic and able to be discharged home or transferred to a higher level of care because they needed to be in an intensive care setting," she continued. "However, transfers are becoming increasingly more difficult to facilitate due to the rise in active cases and the resulting limitations on bed availability. We do have a six-bed unit that is physically separate from the general inpatient population equipped with negative air to accommodate Covid admissions that we can appropriately manage medically and we stand ready to take care of our community.

"We have been lucky to secure and maintain an adequate supply of PPE (personal protective equipment) thus far through relationships with our vendors and distributions from the county health department and office of emergency management. We remain in constant need of additional nursing resources, but that's an ongoing, industry-wide problem."

This week, Gay said there are no current positive cases in-house, and the aim is to continue to provide health care to the community while looking to help out in the broader scheme of things. The hospital is "now looking at ways to work with larger tertiary care facilities to facilitate reverse transfers to relieve their capacity issues," she said.

An approximate 10-week Covid-19 outbreak at associated Montgomery Rehab and Nursing has been officially resolved, Gay said. The majority of those cases were "mostly mild or asymptomatic," she said.

"The emotional component of the isolation during this time has been as hard, if not harder, on our residents due to the absence of visitation with their families, group activities, church services and other normal social gatherings," Gay said.

Cumulative cases of those affected during the pandemic have included 45 residents and 18 staff members. There have been six Covid-19-associated deaths at the facility.

In an earlier email, Josh Wedge, CEO of Plateau Medical Center in Oak Hill, said the hospital is facing challenges similar to those around the country, but "we've been able to accommodate patients that are appropriate for care here," he said. "Certainly the increasing bed capacity numbers across the state have made transferring patients a little more challenging than usual, but our staff are doing a great job in finding appropriate placement."

Staffing and personal protective equipment were holding up, as well, he said at the time.

• • •

In the seven-day period ending Dec. 3, Fayette County had 112 Covid-19 cases, with one death.

The more predominant number of cases resulted from the following age groups: 50-59 (29), 60-69 (16) and 70-and-over (23).

A total of 1,768 tests was administered in the county during the seven days.

On Dec. 2, there were 258 active cases.

• • •

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department announced Dec. 2 there were 6,050 total Covid-19 cases in Kanawha County, which was an increase of 34 cases from Tuesday. Of those, 5,473 were confirmed cases and 577 were probable cases. Active cases stood at 1,182, and recovered cases were at 4,726. The total number of deaths in Kanawha County was 142.

Information is updated regularly at the agency's website, KCHDwv.org.

Due to weather concerns, KCHD and the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority canceled the Covid-19 testing event scheduled for Tuesday at Shawnee Sports Complex. To accommodate volume, hours for testing events on Wednesday and Thursday were extended. Covid-19 testing is available by appointment Monday through Friday at KCHD, as well. Appointments can be made by calling 304-348-8080.

KCHD and the Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority will hold a drive-up Covid-19 testing event from noon until 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 at Shawnee Sports Complex, One Salango Way, Dunbar.

Drive-up testing is being held today until 7 p.m. at the Shawnee Sports Complex, One Salango Way, Dunbar.

• • •

The Covid-19 Data Review Panel, responsible for verifying the data utilized in the West Virginia Department of Education Saturday education map, on Nov. 28 reviewed data from a public health perspective to determine the accuracy and reliability of the data to ensure they are a true indication of what's occurring among counties across West Virginia.

As a result of the most recent review, the panel approved the following:

• Hancock County: Moved from orange to gold due to data validation and one case updated with the correct county of residence.

• Harrison County: Moved from gold to orange due to data validation, 14 cases updated to confirmed status and two cases updated with the correct county of residence.

• Jefferson County: Moved from gold to orange due to data validation and one case updated to confirmed status.

• Logan County: Moved from yellow to green due to data validation and lab results updated to the correct county of residence.

• Ritchie County: Moved from orange to red due to turning red on the DHHR 10:00am Saturday map.

• Upshur County: Moved from yellow to gold due to data validation, eight cases updated to confirmed status and two cases updated with the correct county of residence.

The data contributing toward the Saturday education map is based on data from the DHHR's county alert map as of 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 26. This cut-off time is used to give time to verify the accuracy and completeness of all data to be utilized in the Saturday map.

In the Saturday, Nov. 28 map, Kanawha and Fayette counties were both yellow, which indicated a percent positivity rate of between 3.0 and 3.9 percent.

To view the Saturday education map, visit https://wvde.us/reentrymetrics.

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