Virus case rate grows in WVa’s most populous county


By John Raby - Associated Press



CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia’s most populous county joined two others in being in danger of having public school athletics and extracurricular activities called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kanawha County was listed Wednesday in orange on a color-coded map used as thresholds for in-person attendance and extracurricular activities at schools, which open statewide Sept. 8.

Most of the state’s 55 counties are among the lowest rates of community-spread virus cases depicted in green. The other categories are yellow, orange and red.

Colors for counties with populations of under 16,000 are based on the number of new daily cases per 100,000 residents on a 14-day rolling average. Those with higher populations use a seven-day rolling average.

The rate of positive cases in Kanawha County, which includes the state capital of Charleston, increased from 8.82 on Aug. 20 to 12.11 on Wednesday. The threshold for orange counties is at least 10.

In addition to Kanawha County, Logan and Monroe counties also are in orange, meaning they could not host athletic events or extracurricular activities once school starts. No counties are in red, which would require schools to conduct online learning only with no athletics or extracurricular events.

Kanawha County has at least 1,315 positive virus cases and 28 deaths, the most in the state, county health officials said.

The map also is being used for nursing home visits, which were allowed to resume earlier this week.

On Tuesday, Gov. Jim Justice said marching bands will be allowed to perform at public school football games, reversing a governing body’s ruling from a day earlier.

Statewide there have been at least 9,360 confirmed cases and 190 virus-related deaths.

The virus usually results in only mild to moderate symptoms, but is particularly dangerous for the elderly and people with other health problems.

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Follow AP’s pandemic coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

By John Raby

Associated Press