June Leffler Published

COVID-19 Cases Rising In W.Va.

A computer rendering of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia have quadrupled in the past month.

Recently, retired Maj Gen. Jim Hoyer, who leads the state’s coronavirus response, attributed that bump to Spring Break and Easter travel, according to West Virginia University data. Hoyer said an increase in cases nationwide will soon catch up with the Mountain State.

“We will see some additional challenges going forward over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Hospitalizations are gradually increasing. There are 50 more people in the hospital with COVID-19 than there were three weeks ago.

This week, President Joe Biden honored the 1 million U.S. residents who died from COVID-19, though the official count is just under that. Almost 6,900 people have died in West Virginia. The state has the fourth highest, per capita COVID-19 death rate in the nation, according to the New York Times.

An analysis from Brown university looked at how many of those deaths could have been prevented by vaccine uptake. The data show West Virginia has the highest per capita, vaccine-preventable deaths.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.