As winter approaches and the pandemic maintains its unrelenting hold on many states and communities, Fayette County's Covid-19 transmission rates are still not where health officials would like them to be.
In the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services' update on Monday, Fayette County had 166 active cases of Covid-19. The active cases had risen from 140 during the most recent seven-day period to Monday, and the overall number of positive cases during that span was 126. Fortunately, no deaths of Fayette County residents from the disease had occurred during that time frame.
The numbers didn't improve the following day, as another 25 county cases were revealed, and the active cases rose to 180. Also, Fayette on Tuesday moved into red on the DHHR's county alert system map, with an 8.07 percent positivity and an infection rate of 46.49.
There are no current outbreaks in the county, Fayette County Health Department Administrator Teri Harlan said Monday, but the county is "still seeing high community transmission" and a "slight increase in numbers."
The county had 30 cases alone on Sunday, Nov. 14. And, with just 194 tests administered that day, Fayette's percent positivity for Sunday was 15.46 percent.
Through Monday morning's report, the county was orange on the DHHR's county alert system map, with 7.13 percent positivity and a 41.44 infection rate. On Nov. 8, those numbers were 2.45 and 16.51, respectively.
Through Tuesday, the largest number of cases of any age group in Fayette County during the seven-day cycle had occurred in the 5-11 group, with 26 positive cases, or 18.44 percent. There were 23 cases (16.31 percent) among individuals 41-50.
"We're still seeing a significant number of positive cases," Harlan said Monday. "We're encouraged that we are able to provide vaccines now to the 5- to 11-year-olds. We've been busy scheduling those."
"We still have a ways to go (related to overall vaccination rates)," she said. "We're encouraging folks to get their boosters if they need a booster and, of course, if they haven't gotten their vaccine at all to please, please consider getting vaccinated."
Harlan advises caution as holidays and colder weather arrive. "People are going to want to get together this year. They do," she said. "Again, we're encouraging folks to get vaccinated, be cautious, all the typical things that we've been preaching this whole time. Hand-washing, if you're indoors and you're at-risk, definitely wear your mask. It's in the best interests and the only way we're going to get through this."
Covid-19 testing continues at the health department on Monday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
To schedule a vaccination appointment, call the department at 304-574-1617. The FCHD is also still performing vaccine clinics, and officials ask if someone has an idea of where the department could travel to stage a vaccination clinic, to contact the office. "We're certainly willing to do that," Harlan said.
Fayette County Schools most recently revealed six new cases of Covid-19 in the school system on Nov. 10, followed by 11 additional cases over a two-day period through Nov. 14.
The FCHD started administering free Pfizer Covid-19 vaccines for ages 5-11 last week at the health department (5495 Maple Lane, Fayetteville). Sessions are currently being held from 3 to 6 p.m. on Mondays. In the first week, 28 vaccines were administered, according to Jimmy Bennett, a FCHD office assistant and a member of the Fayette County Covid-19 Task Force.
"It seems to be going pretty well," Bennett said of the new program. "Last week, the schedule filled up pretty quickly. We had a couple of walk-ins."
"It's one of those things where kids are nervous, of course," he added. "Nobody is a big fan of getting shots."
The FCHD staying open extra hours on Mondays will allow families who desire so to have opportunities to get a shot for their child in a comfortable setting, he said. More evenings can be added if necessary.
Parents can call the health department for more information or to schedule an appointment.
"I'm just excited we're able to do it," Bennett said. "I think it's excellent. The more folks, including the 5-11-year-olds, that we get vaccinated, the sooner we get back to what we see as normal."
While vaccines for children 12-and-above have been ongoing for several months, those in that age group, too, can still take advantage of the vaccine process. Bennett stresses that it's "more convenient" for that age group because they can take advantage of any of the vaccination locations, such as an event that was set for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 17 at Smithers that was slated to feature both Covid-19 and flu vaccines.
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On Nov. 16, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reported there were 6,200 active Covid-19 cases statewide. Forty deaths were reported since the last report, with a total of 4,676 deaths attributed to Covid-19.
DHHR confirmed the deaths of a 94-year-old Kanawha County woman, a 74-year-old Kanawha County woman, a 77-year-old Lincoln County woman, a 64-year-old Lincoln County woman, a 78-year-old Raleigh County woman and an 86-year-old Summers County man.
Included in the total deaths reported on the dashboard as a result of the Bureau for Public Health’s continuing data reconciliation with the official death certificate are a 21-year-old Wyoming County man, an 89-year-old Ritchie County man, a 63-year-old Preston County man, a 74-year-old Kanawha County man, a 63-year-old Nicholas County woman, a 68-year-old Randolph County man, a 43-year-old Barbour County man, an 86-year-old Barbour County man, a 74-year-old Marshall County woman, a 71-year-old Harrison County man, a 48-year old Wayne County woman, a 54-year old Upshur County woman, a 62-year old Ohio County woman, an 85-year old Wayne County woman, a 56-year old Webster County woman, an 89-year-old Harrison County man, a 68-year-old McDowell County man, a 68-year-old Braxton County woman, an 86-year-old Fayette County woman, a 61-year-old Mason County woman, a 59-year-old Wirt County woman, an 84-year-old Ohio County woman, an 81-year-old Wood County woman, a 78-year-old Webster County man, a 63-year-old Nicholas County woman, a 79-year-old Monongalia County man, a 78-year-old Grant County woman, an 81-year-old Fayette County man, a 74-year-old Preston County man, a 37-year-old Wetzel County woman, a 51-year-old Wetzel County man, a 64-year-old Wayne County woman, a 65-year-old Kanawha County woman, and an 84-year-old Mingo County woman. These deaths range from September through November 2021, with one death occurring in January 2021.
Active cases per county in the DHHR's Nov. 16 update were: Barbour (98), Berkeley (488), Boone (100), Braxton (47), Brooke (69), Cabell (236), Calhoun (30), Clay (29), Doddridge (8), Fayette (180), Gilmer (15), Grant (87), Greenbrier (93), Hampshire (108), Hancock (79), Hardy (70), Harrison (259), Jackson (77), Jefferson (185), Kanawha (466), Lewis (43), Lincoln (134), Logan (99), Marion (261), Marshall (115), Mason (70), McDowell (56), Mercer (265), Mineral (90), Mingo (93), Monongalia (243), Monroe (38), Morgan (45), Nicholas (153), Ohio (162), Pendleton (28), Pleasants (15), Pocahontas (19), Preston (139), Putnam (246), Raleigh (240), Randolph (69), Ritchie (18), Roane (69), Summers (19), Taylor (98), Tucker (19), Tyler (15), Upshur (128), Wayne (100), Webster (42), Wetzel (67), Wirt (20), Wood (196) and Wyoming (62).
On Nov. 15, the DHHR confirmed the deaths of a 92-year-old Boone County man, a 32-year-old Berkeley County man, an 86-year-old woman from Preston County, a 67-year-old man from Grant County, a 77-year-old Putnam County man, a 77-year-old woman from Wayne County, a 67-year-old Barbour County woman, a 58-year-old man from Kanawha County, an 83-year-old Lewis County woman, a 53-year-old Wayne County man, a 94-year-old Harrison County man, a 40-year-old man from Harrison County, a 64-year-old Kanawha County man, a 67-year-old woman from Cabell County, an 86-year-old man from Putnam County, a 64-year-old Jackson County woman, an 83-year-old man from Morgan County, a 62-year-old Kanawha County woman, a 69-year-old Putnam County woman, a 65-year-old man from Mercer County, an 84-year-old Taylor County woman, a 68-year-old Kanawha County woman, a 30-year-old Kanawha County man, a 63-year-old man from Webster County, a 58-year-old Cabell County woman and a 47-year-old Kanawha County man.
"We send our sincere condolences to these families for their profound loss," said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR cabinet secretary. "The Covid vaccine is safe, effective, readily available and free. Please schedule your Covid vaccine or booster today."
The cumulative cases per county can be found by visiting www.coronavirus.wv.gov and searching for the cumulative summary tab, which is sortable by county.
On Nov. 12, there were no deaths reported since the last report, which was most likely attributed to Thursday's state holiday, officials said.
On Nov. 11, the DHHR confirmed the deaths of an 84-year-old Kanawha County man, a 73-year-old Raleigh County man, a 69-year-old Berkeley County woman, a 71-year-old man from Raleigh County, a 65-year-old Nicholas County man, a 59-year-old Wetzel County man, a 73-year-old Monongalia County woman, a 33-year-old man from Marion County, a 69-year-old Taylor County woman, a 72-year-old woman from Harrison County, an 86-year-old Kanawha County man, a 66-year-old Webster County woman, a 47-year-old Marion County man, a 74-year-old Kanawha County woman, a 50-year-old man from Cabell County, an 89-year-old Randolph County man, a 75-year-old Roane County man and an 80-year-old woman from Cabell County.
The agency on Nov. 10 revealed the passing of a 47-year-old Greenbrier County man, a 64-year-old Preston County man, a 79-year-old Wayne County man, a 66-year-old Kanawha County man, a 76-year-old woman from Monongalia County, a 79-year-old Gilmer County woman, a 56-year-old Kanawha County man, a 64-year-old Kanawha County woman, a 76-year-old Mason County man, a 39-year-old Nicholas County woman, a 70-year-old woman from Cabell County, a 65-year-old Monongalia County man, a 90-year-old Kanawha County man, an 80-year-old Mineral County woman, a 57-year-old man from Raleigh County, a 58-year-old Boone County woman, a 67-year-old man from Monongalia County, a 71-year-old Greenbrier County man, a 66-year-old Monroe County man, a 75-year-old woman from Marion County, a 50-year-old Nicholas County woman, a 62-year-old man from Logan County, a 71-year-old Kanawha County man and a 71-year-old Lincoln County woman.
West Virginians ages 5-and-older are eligible for a Covid-19 vaccine. Boosters are also available. To learn more about the vaccine or to find a nearby vaccine site, visit vaccinate.wv.gov or call 1-833-734-0965.
Online registration is open for the third round of a vaccination sweepstakes. Registration is open to all West Virginians ages 5-18 who have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Visit https://doitforbabydog.wv.gov/ to register and for more information. Children ages 5-17 must have parental consent to be vaccinated and to register.
This round of the sweepstakes will feature four weeks of prize giveaways that will include $10,000 educational savings funds, lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, a grand prize educational savings fund and a grand prize check and party for a school.
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The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department on Nov. 15 identified 47 new cases of Covid-19. Two new deaths were reported, a 79-year-old man who was unvaccinated and a 77-year-old man who was vaccinated.
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