CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — An 88-year-old Marion County woman died Sunday at a Clarksburg hospital as a result of covid-19, state DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch announced Sunday evening.
Crouch said the death, the first one in West Virginia associated with the coronavirus covid-19 public health emergency, was confirmed through both the Marion County Health Department and United Hospital Center.
“We extend our sincere condolences to this family,” Crouch said in a statement.
Gov. Jim Justice also expressed sorrow.
“I ask all West Virginians to join Cathy and I in praying for the family, friends, and loved ones of this individual. It is truly a sad day in West Virginia,” Justice stated.
“We are working around the clock, along with members of my administration, and the top medical experts in our state to do absolutely everything we can to protect West Virginians.”
After learning this evening of the first West Virginian to pass away from #COVID19, Cathy and I ask all West Virginians to join us in praying for the family, friends, and loved ones of this individual. It is truly a sad day in West Virginia. https://t.co/2yWsr23gUw
— Governor Jim Justice (@WVGovernor) March 29, 2020
Confirmed cases increase
West Virginia now has 124 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to information released by the DHHR Sunday night. There were 11 cases added Sunday.
The DHHR said 3,108 residents had been tested through Sunday with 124 positive, 2,984 negative and one death.
The state breakdown of cases by county is 10 individuals from Berkeley County, one from Cabell County, two from Greenbrier County, three from Hancock County, seven from Harrison County, eight from Jackson County, five from Jefferson County, 19 from Kanawha County, one from Logan County, five from Marion County, four from Marshall County, three from Mason County, two from Mercer County, 30 from Monongalia County, one from Morgan, seven from Ohio County, one from Pleasants County, one from Preston County, three from Putnam County, four from Raleigh County, two from Tucker County, one from Upshur County, one from Wetzel County, one from Wirt County, and two from Wood County.
.@WV_DHHR today confirmed 11 new cases of novel #COVID19 have been officially reported to the state, making the total positive case count 124. As of 3/29/20, 3,108 residents have been tested for COVID-19, with 124 positive, 2,984 negative and one death. https://t.co/TRvtqhkWvp pic.twitter.com/S0QHuONWb9
— WV DHHR (@WV_DHHR) March 29, 2020
Kanawha County cases rising
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department announced Sunday evening two more workers at Kanawha County’s Judicial Annex have tested positive for the virus bringing the number of confirm cases to seven at that building, which was closed to the public last week by the Kanawha County Commission.
“This epidemic is affecting our friends and colleagues,” Kanawha-Charleston Health Department Director and Medical Officer Sherri Young said. “The best thing people can do to fight it is to stay at home.”
The health department is now reporting 28 confirmed cases in Kanawha County. The state numbers released Sunday evening still had Kanawha County at 19. The additional cases are expected to be added to Monday’s count.
Young also commented Sunday on the coronavirus-related death of country music performer Joe Diffie who perform at the Clay Center in Charleston on March 8.
Young said although it’s unlikely that anyone at the performance contracted the virus, county residents need to continue to take precautions.
“Stay home,” Young said. “Wash your hands. If you have symptoms—cough, shortness of breath or fever—contact your health care provider.”
During a briefing Sunday evening, President Donald Trump extended the CDC social distancing guidelines to April 30. Trump said the peak of the virus remains about two weeks away.