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COVID-19 hospitalizations more than double in past week; Marsh says time for ‘double down commitment’

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — COVID-19-related hospitalizations in West Virginia grew to 56 Friday, the highest number since May 1. Hospitalizations have more than doubled in the past week.

State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said during a Friday appearance on MetroNews “Talkline” those numbers could go up even more because hospitalizations tend to lag behind the reporting of positive cases.

“Over the last two weeks we’ve seen about a doubling of the number of active cases, so we know that COVID is spreading (in WV) and we know that there is a delay between when the positives happen and the hospital stuff starts to really jump,” Marsh said.

Hospitalizations were at 25 last Friday, July 3, the state Department of Health and Human Resources listed it at 56 Friday morning. Sixteen of those patients are being treated in intensive care units and seven people are on ventilators.

Marsh said the numbers, though increasing, are far below the capacity of hospitals around the state can handle but there is something to be concerned about.

“This is the time for us to be really, really to be double down committed to mitigating in every way we can. We look at it as the clock is ticking on us,” Marsh said. “If we miss our opportunity to mitigate and intervene effectively now to slow down the spread, then we could very well be in the same position as Florida and Texas and Arizona and other states are getting to which would be quite a disaster,” Marsh said.

A report in the New York times Friday listed West Virginia as one of five states that has tested enough people “considered necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus.”

According to the DHHR’s numbers Friday, 199,383 COVID-19 tests have been completed in the state since early March. The state’s overall positive test rate is 1.95 percent.

According to the Times article, 12 states have met the testing target, five are close and 34 other states need more testing.

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