© 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Telling West Virginia's Story
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Health & Science

W.Va. On Track To ‘Become Arkansas And Alabama’ As COVID-19 Cases Rise

Clay Marsh.jpg
WV Governor's Office
West Virginia's Coronavirus Czar Clay Marsh speaks at a virtual press briefing with Gov. Jim Justice on Oct. 23, 2020.

COVID-19 cases in West Virginia are increasing at a rate faster than much of the nation. Active cases have almost doubled in the last 10 days.

The Mountain State is now seeing cases jump faster than any other state besides the Dakotas, according to data compiled by the New York Times. 

“We know looking at other states and looking at the rate of speed of severe illness and hospitalizations that we very well could become Arkansas and Alabama if we don't take better and more care, and take it immediately,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s coronavirus czar.

Many Southern states were hit harder and earlier by the delta variant, but experts say these states have reached their peak.

“We seem to be about three to four weeks behind other states,” said State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad.

State officials said maintaining hospital capacity, for COVID-19 and other kinds of patients, is their immediate concern. COVID-19 hospitalizations peaked at more than 800 last January, though the state has never seen hospital beds in dire supply throughout the pandemic.

However, Marsh said hospitalizations are increasing faster than at any point in the pandemic.

WVPB is local news, education, music, and entertainment for West Virginia.
Your donation today will help keep us strong and vital.