Note: This story was originally published on 04/02/20. It was updated on 04/20/20.
Since the first Ohio Valley region COVID-19 patient was confirmed nearly a month ago, cases of the disease caused by the novel coronavirus have continued to increase in the state.
Along with that increase in cases comes an increase in questions:
How many cases are there around me?
How many people in my community have died?
How do other health issues increase the risk of serious illness due to coronavirus in my community?
These questions are hard to answer right now due to the speed at which data are being reported.
That’s why we, in collaboration with three other public media stations across the U.S., developed the Local COVID-19 Tracker Project. The Local COVID-19 Tracker Project brings you county-level coronavirus data that are both timely and easy to understand.
The tracker allows you to select your county and view the most recent COVID-19 related cases and deaths, as well as information about vulnerable populations in your county.
See the tracker in real time here.
Each day, when information is released by state officials, we update our app so that you can see what is currently happening in your community.
As the pandemic develops and more information becomes available, we will include additional data points that help you understand the risk of coronavirus to you and your community.
It is important to remember that while the data we’re using is the most current available, they are still an underestimation of the spread of coronavirus. As testing around the country and within each state increases, we are likely to see increases in cases.
Additionally, there are often delays in reporting testing results to state health departments. So even if the COVID-19 Tracker does not show cases in your county, it is still possible that there are cases.COVID-19 And Other Disease
The local COVID-19 Tracker Project also provides a county profile of some of the other health conditions that can make people more vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Health experts say that exposure to COVID-19 can be more dangerous to some groups, such as seniors, those with compromised immune systems, and people who suffer from chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, or diabetes.
People who suffer from chronic respiratory disease are more vulnerable to a serious COVID-19 case, because the novel coronavirus affects the lungs.
The novel coronavirus especially threatens people with cardiovascular disease. In patients whose heart is made more vulnerable by pre-existing conditions, COVID-19 can cause complications such as embolisms and irregular heartbeats, and that raises a patient’s risk of death.
COVID-19 threatens people with diabetes, whose blood sugar isn't stable, because this pre-existing condition reduces their ability to fight off infections. Unchecked, the virus can cause complications leading to coma or death.For more information about how to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus
Updated information on testing and confirmed cases of coronavirus in West Virginia, as well as actions to limit the spread of the virus, resources for services and economic support, and a hotline number for those who think they may have been exposed.