Marsh: West Virginians working together to delay virus spread

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh was encouraged after a Saturday morning conference call with governors and leading health care officials from Pennsylvania and Ohio.

“It’s clear that we are doing really, really well, but it’s really because all of the people are working together to give us a better chance to get through this,” Marsh said during an appearance on a special edition of MetroNews “Talkline” Saturday.

West Virginia, which had 96 confirmed coronavirus cases and no deaths as of Friday night, continues to have a confirmed-case-to-people-tested ratio of around four percent which is stretching out any possibility for a surge.

Marsh, on loan to the governor’s office from WVU, said he believes a large majority of state residents are following Gov. Jim Justice’s stay-at-home order along with practicing good hygiene and social distancing to reduce the spread.

“If 90 percent of our people do that—and right now I believe that’s the kind of impact we are having, that’s the kind of cooperation we are having. We can get by and almost be like business as usual,” Marsh said.

But he points out it’s not just a couple of days of doing those things to prevent the spread but it’s going to be several weeks. He said it’s important for state residents not to grow weary of doing what’s right.

Temperatures this weekend in the 70s and 80s are a concern with some and the possibility of congregating and causing community spread.

“If you need to be outside on a beautiful day, be outside on your porch or in your yard,” Marsh said.

Ohio and Pennsylvania have much larger populations than West Virginia. Ohio was reporting nearly 1,200 confirmed cases with 19 deaths. Pennsylvania has more than 2,200 confirmed cases and 22 deaths.

Marsh said all states are working hard to prevent the spread. He said Gov. Justice’s series of orders issued last week and this week have no doubt helped West Virginia.

“We were talking to the governors of these other states and they were envious where we are right now,” Marsh said.

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