Dr. Clay Marsh

USDA

As the economies of the Ohio Valley gradually reopen from the pandemic closures, state officials are still reporting hundreds of coronavirus cases each day in the region. In Kentucky, coronavirus cases are again on the rise, with a week-long average of daily cases approaching the highest level yet. Public health officials are concerned about a spread of coronavirus into more rural parts of the region. 

WVU Department of Health Sciences and Lalena Price

It’s been about 10 weeks since the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the country, including West Virginia. While state officials are now reopening businesses, the pandemic is far from over. Seventy-eight West Virginians have died due to COVID-19. Unemployment claims have reached 250,000.

But the pandemic has exacted another toll — it’s fractured many of our healthcare institutions.

On this West Virginia Morning, we have a conversation with coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh. Also, we speak with Kentucky attorney and author Cassie Chambers about her memoir “Hill Women.”

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia has scaled back its plan to lift coronavirus restrictions to gauge how current reopenings will affect the state's caseload, officials said Tuesday.

Office of Gov. Jim Justice

Updated Tuesday, April 14, 2020 at 5:10 p.m.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice and other officials continued to say the state is trending in the right direction in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic but continue to hold off on lifting orders that have brought everyday life to a screeching halt. 

In a virtual news conference held Tuesday, Justice cited a map of the United States that represented confirmed COVID-19 deaths. He noted that West Virginia reports fewer deaths than neighboring states, as well as most other states. 

University of Washington / Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

West Virginia has about a month until coronavirus peaks here. 

And when it does, about 500 West Virginians — give or take a few hundred — are expected to die, according to current projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

West Virginia University

Check back here for the latest coverage on the coronavirus.

West Virginia officials continue to try to stave off the effects of an outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the state — despite no confirmed cases being announced by health officers. As the potential for a diagnosis appears inevitable, those involved in the response to the pandemic are hoping to mitigate its spread and prevent stresses on the state’s health care system. 

Is our health care system equipped to handle what lies ahead? How can West Virginia prevent stresses that have occured in other countries?