West Virginia sees record 642 new virus cases
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia reported a new high of 642 coronavirus cases on Wednesday and seven deaths as the pandemic continued its march into rural enclaves.
There are 277 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus, slightly down from the peak of 290 last week. There have been 553 deaths in total linked to COVID-19. Virus-related deaths have increased 45% in the past month.
The daily positivity rate is up to 5.9%, the highest it has been in about two months.
“The enemy is at our borders, and the enemy is coming at us right now,” Gov. Jim Justice said at a regularly scheduled coronavirus press briefing.
Twenty-five counties had the most severe designation of virus spread, with 25 or more cases per 100,000 residents.
Justice said all options are on the table for bringing new travel and business restrictions but that nothing is planned yet.
“Legally, I can’t go out and start arresting people” for not wearing masks, Justice said in urging people to follow guidelines and get tested for the virus.
In-person schooling and athletic competitions are canceled in Mingo and Mineral counties this week due to the counties appearing red on the state’s coronavirus map released last Saturday. Nine other counties were also marked orange on the map, meaning face-to-face instruction is suspended and sports team practices are restricted.