Officials Caution ‘Dark Days’ With COVID-19 May Be Ahead As Winter Looms
Gov. Jim Justice continues to call on West Virginians to make changes in their day-to-day behaviors to limit the spread of the coronavirus. State health officials are strongly encouraging residents to wear masks, social distance and take advantage of free coronavirus testing opportunities, even if they do not feel sick.
Coronavirus Czar Clay Marsh said in a recent virtual press briefing with the governor that it is vital for West Virginians to recognize that in the winter season, there is a possibility COVID-19 spread could get worse if necessary changes are not made now.
“Droplets stay airborne longer as humidity is lower,” Marsh said. “Our mucous membranes are more permeable, are more open to getting infectious particles and having us breathe them in. So, it is our time, West Virginia, and we need to answer the call together, because if we don't, I am very worried that dark days are coming.”
Officials reported that COVID-19 hospitalizations in West Virginia continued to increase this week from 215 hospitalizations on Monday, to 240 on Friday.
As of Friday morning, there were more than 520 new coronavirus cases in the state within 24 hours, and just over 4,900 active cases.
Even with the surge in numbers, the governor said outbreaks in West Virginia’s K-12 schools remain low and manageable.
To-date, 451 people in West Virginia have died from COVID-19 since the state began tracking the spread of the virus.