OHIO VALLEY — Though Mason County began Friday with six confirmed COVID-19 cases, by the end of the day, it had seven, as reported by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).
As of 5 p.m. on Friday, there had been 15,101 residents tested for COVID-19, with 574 positive, 14,527 negative and five deaths, according to DHHR.
Confirmed cases per county are: Barbour (4), Berkeley (89), Boone (1), Braxton (1), Brooke (3), Cabell (21), Fayette (3), Greenbrier (3), Hampshire (3), Hancock (7), Hardy (2), Harrison (28), Jackson (23), Jefferson (46), Kanawha (82), Lewis (2), Logan (8), Marion (32), Marshall (6), Mason (7), McDowell (4), Mercer (8), Mineral (3), Monongalia (78), Monroe (1), Morgan (5), Nicholas (2), Ohio (21), Pendleton (1), Pleasants (1), Preston (6), Putnam (10), Raleigh (5), Randolph (3), Roane (2), Taylor (3), Tucker (3), Tyler (3), Upshur (3), Wayne (17), Wetzel (3), Wirt (2), Wood (18), Wyoming (1).
As case surveillance continues at the local health department level, it may reveal that those tested in a certain county may not be a resident of that county, or even the state as an individual in question may have crossed the state border to be tested. Such is the case of Putnam and Roane counties, stated DHHR on Friday.
As of Thursday, five known cases of COVID-19 in Mason County were believed to be community acquired while one person had a history of international travel. Due to the late update of the numbers on Friday, and press times, information on whether or not the seventh confirmed case of COVID-19 was community acquired or travel-related will be included in an upcoming edition.
As previously reported, upon receiving a positive report, the Mason County Health Department:
– Contacts the patient, gathers information on patient’s contacts and advises patient to quarantine to home and gives guidelines on the length of time to quarantine, depending on each case.
– The MCHD will notify each contact and advise them what length of time they need to be quarantined or not.
– The MCHD will closely monitor all persons involved with the positive case.
Also on Friday, during Gov. Jim Justice’s press briefing, it was announced each of West Virginia’s 55 counties will receive a grant in the amount of $100,000 to utilize at their discretion to reward “hero pay” for the various front line personnel and first responders involved in the effort.
Gov. Justice also announced on Friday that a grant will be given to the West Virginia National Guard to issue $500 to each member that has been activated to serve during the pandemic.
A letter to President Donald J. Trump was prepared by Gov. Justice just prior to Friday’s briefing and in it, he is seeking the authority to use some of the $1.25 billion in funds from the federal CARES Act to “reward first responders and other front line workers that have been putting in countless hours” as well.
Gov. Justice also signed an Executive Order adding Cabell, Ohio, Wayne, and Wood counties to the list of community clusters for the spread of the virus. The order gives local health departments in those counties the authority to further restrict and tighten rules on social distancing and essential services.
During the briefing, Dr. Clay Marsh, COVID-19 Czar, reported that projections now reflect that the number of deaths have dropped from initial reports of around 500 to a new count of 74.
Justice said Friday that West Virginians continue to do “an excellent job of slowing the spread of COVID-19” and asked them to continue to take precautions as the state nears the peak of the pandemic.
Cases of COVID-19 in Gallia and Meigs counties in Ohio remained unchanged as of Friday evening.
To date, Gallia County has reported four confirmed cases of COVID-19, all of which are community spread. Gallia County has seen three individuals hospitalized and one death.
Meigs County continues to have one confirmed case, with the person having not required hospitalization. The Meigs County case is a case of community spread.
A total of 84 or Ohio’s 88 counties have reported cases as of the Friday afternoon update from the Ohio Department of Health. The remaining counties in Ohio without a confirmed case in Ohio are Vinton, Hocking, Noble, Harrison and Putnam.
In nearby and neighboring counties in Ohio, Jackson County, has two confirmed cases, one of which has required hospitalization. Athens County has three confirmed cases, including one death. Lawrence County has 15 confirmed cases, with two hospitalizations. Washington County has 35 confirmed cases with three hospitalizations and one death.
Information provided by DHHR, ODH and the office of Gov. Jim Justice.