6:00: Morning News

Second coronavirus death recorded

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state recorded its second death in connection with the coronavirus Wednesday.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources confirmed the death through the Jackson County Health Department.

A news release said the patient had several underlying health issues at died while hospitalized.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the patient’s family and friends,” Jackson County Health Department Health Officer Dr. John Snyder said. “This is a tragic development in this outbreak.”

The health department said no further information about the patient would be released.

The news of the death follows a day when the state DHHR reported one of the biggest jumps in confirmed cases. The agency said there are now a total of 191 confirmed cases in the Mountain State. That’s 29 more than the day before.

According to the DHHR, 4.575 residents have been tested for COVID-19 with 191 positive, 4,384 negative and two deaths. The first death was an 88-year-old Marion County woman who died at United Hospital Center in Clarksburg.

The agency lists 29 of the state’s 55 counties as having as least one confirmed case. Barbour County was added for the first time Wednesday to the state’s numbers.

CONFIRMED CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (1), Berkeley (21), Cabell (1), Greenbrier (3), Hancock (6), Hardy (1), Harrison (14), Jackson (11), Jefferson (9), Kanawha (37), Logan (3), Marion (8), Marshall (4), Mason (3), Mercer (2), Monongalia (32), Morgan (1), Ohio (11), Pleasants (1), Preston (3), Putnam (5), Raleigh (3), Randolph (1), Roane (2), Tucker (2), Upshur (1), Wetzel (2), Wirt (1), Wood (2).

The state’s positive test rate is at 4.1 percent.

Clay Marsh

State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said the numbers are still good and it’s showing up in the latest modeling.

“Right now we’re projected to have our surge May 2 and we’re projected to lose 500 or so West Virginians,” Marsh said. “That number continues to go down. The projection for the number of ICU beds that we need has gone down.”

State Health Director Dr. Cathy Slemp said 55 percent of those who have tested positive are women. She said 95 percent of the cases are over the age of 20 and 40 percent are over the age of 60.

Dr. Cathy Slemp

Slemp said rapid testing measures are starting to slowly come into the state.

“We’re working to expand that as fast as we can to use for a variety of high priority areas,” she said.

Rapid testing will be used where there’s been a location outbreak situation. It will also be used to test health care workers and other essential service personnel along with high-risk, urgent care situations.

“Places where you need a quick turnaround time,” Slemp said.

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