W.Va.'s State Health Officer Resigns Amid Growing Coronavirus Case Numbers In Region, Country


On this West Virginia Morning, health officials in the state are concerned that people are becoming too relaxed about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, making outbreaks more likely. Also, one of the state’s top health officials has resigned. And if the state were to tighten restrictions, what might that mean for our friends in recovery from substance abuse?

Commissioner for public health Dr. Cathy Slemp has resigned following public criticisms from Governor Jim Justice. Kara Lofton reports.

As economies gradually reopen around the Ohio Valley, state officials are still reporting hundreds of coronavirus cases each day. Kentucky in particular has seen a recent uptick in cases. Some health experts are concerned that cases are spreading into more rural communities, with outbreaks arising around a few types of large workplaces and facilities. The Ohio Valley ReSource’s Liam Niemeyer has more on the pandemic’s rural hotspots.

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department is alarmed by a spike in positive COVID-19 cases. In a press release, officials wrote they’ve received reports of 10 new positive cases between Tuesday and Wednesday. The cases appear to be related to recent travel to South Carolina, Florida, and Tennessee, as well as community spread that is not travel related. WVPB brings you this report.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic tens of millions of Americans have been cooped up at home for months. Nearly a quarter of the population has applied for unemployment. We know isolation can feed anxiety and depression. Calls to help centers and suicide hotlines are up in what some are calling a “shadow pandemic.”

In the most recent episode of West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s program Us & Them, host Trey Kay speaks with West Virginians who’ve relied on mental health treatment only to have it interrupted by the pandemic. He learned that while social distancing can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, at the same time, it forces people away from life-saving connections. Here’s an excerpt.

West Virginia Morning is a production of West Virginia Public Broadcasting which is solely responsible for its content.

Support for our news bureaus comes from West Virginia University, Concord University, and Shepherd University.

Listen to West Virginia Morning weekdays at 7:43 a.m. on WVPB Radio or subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode. #WVMorning