CHARLESTON — A dozen children were hospitalized in West Virginia with COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning.
That’s twice as many as were listed on Friday in the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ daily update on the status of the virus in the state. Four of them were in intensive care units, with one on a ventilator.
Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s coronavirus czar, said in an emailed statement Tuesday that there have been no links found between the cases.
“We suspect this increased number represents … omicron BA.5 impacting West Virginia citizens, including children, paired with the lower vaccination rates of children both in West Virginia and nationally,” he said.
BA.5 is a more infectious variant of the virus and the dominant strain nationally.
“We will continue to closely monitor hospitalizations and severity of illness in our adult- and pediatric-aged citizens and continue to encourage that all West Virginians stay up to date with their vaccinations, including boosters if indicated,” Marsh said.
Overall hospitalizations rose to 337 from 324 Monday. Of those, 182 patients were considered vaccinated, meaning they received the initial two Pfizer or Moderna doses or one Johnson and Johnson injection. It does not take into account boosters.
There were 49 patients with COVID in ICUs, 32 of them unvaccinated. Fourteen patients were on ventilators, evenly split between vaccinated and unvaccinated. There were 48 ICU patients and 16 on ventilators Monday.
Tuesday’s update included two deaths attributed to the virus, an 81-year-old Ohio County man and an 88-year-old Brooke County woman. That brings the state’s pandemic death toll to 7,163.
“As this pandemic continues, it doesn’t get any easier to report the deaths of our residents,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “Our sincere condolences are extended to these families.”
Statewide active cases as of Tuesday totaled 3,111, a small decrease for the second consecutive day.
Active case numbers around the Mid-Ohio Valley on Tuesday (Monday) were: Calhoun, 9 (8); Doddridge, 7 (8); Gilmer, 9 (10); Jackson, 24 (23); Pleasants, 9 (13); Ritchie, 19 (20); Roane, 33 (32); Tyler, 8 (10); Wetzel, 15 (13); Wirt, 13 (13); and Wood, 180 (191).
Forty-two of West Virginia’s 55 counties were yellow on the County Alert System map. That’s the second-lowest of five categories measuring spread of the virus based on the number of new cases per 100,000 people in the previous seven days or percentage of tests coming back positive, whichever is lower.
All Mid-Ohio Valley counties were yellow except Jackson, Pleasants and Wetzel, which were green, the lowest level. Boone County was the only one in the state at gold, the middle of the scale.
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