Caitlin Tan Published

W.Va. Sets Record High COVID Cases For Second Day In A Row

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

West Virginia has set an new record for the second day in a row with 696 new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours. This beats the previous record high of 642 new cases reported Wednesday.

There are 306 covid patients hospitalized statewide, according to Nov. 12 data from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. To date, there’s been 555 deaths in the state attributed to the virus; however, 2,155 people have recovered to date.

The state uses a color-coded system to determine severity of the rate of spread of the virus, with red being the most extreme, and as of Nov. 12, 26 counties were classified as such. The “red” designation requires more than 25 cases of community spread per 100,000 people.

This comes as a surge in coronavirus cases has been reported nationwide. There were 140,000 new cases of the virus across the U.S. reported Wednesday, with 242,000 deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

West Virginia’s Gov. Jim Justice implemented a mask mandate July 9, requiring residents older than age 9 to wear a mask in indoor spaces and where social distancing is not possible. However, this excludes those “actively engaged in the consumption of food and/or beverage.”

Studies suggest that consistent use of masks remains the most economical effective tool to combat the coronavirus. But, enforcing mask mandates remains complicated. In a Wednesday press conference, Justice said he cannot “go out and start arresting people” for not wearing masks.

Justice’s regular COVID-19 press conference will take place at 11 a.m. Nov. 13.