Health official: Vacations, church gatherings driving up Logan County COVID-19 case numbers

LOGAN COUNTY, W.Va. — Active COVID-19 cases in Logan County were continuing to climb Tuesday, just one of the counties in southern West Virginia dealing with recent spikes in cases.

Steve Browning, administrator for the Logan County Health Department, said, though case numbers were still on the rise, the daily increases in Logan County were beginning to come in at lower amounts following jumps in July attributed to a couple of factors.

Returning vacationers was one, Browning said.

“Then we had a few church outbreaks that were primarily related to a gospel group and then just one on its own that was separate from that. Then it was their contacts that started to become positive,” he explained.

“Those two factors, with the contacts becoming positive, all sort of started to balloon our numbers really quick.”

On Monday, Governor Jim Justice included Logan County on his latest outbreak list along with Mercer County, specifically the Princeton Health Care Center, and Raleigh County.

“Logan County’s population surely is not that significant as far as the total population of this state,” he said.

“It is absolutely ridiculous to have 100 cases in Logan County.”

As of Tuesday morning, the Logan County Health Department was reporting 176 total confirmed positive COVID-19 cases dating back to March. Of those cases, 87 were active. Thirteen people were hospitalized.

Southern West Virginia, Governor Justice said, was seeing the effects of virus migration from the southern U.S.

Browning said the speed of the Logan County spread surprised him.

Going forward, he was reminding residents to avoid crowded places, enclosed locations and close contact with others. When that was not possible, he said people should be wearing masks.

“Hopefully, we can get through this part of it and settle them back down again and return to some much more manageable numbers,” Browning said.

He said it was up to Logan County residents to make that happen.

“If we can do one thing, we can just watch out for our neighbors and our community.”

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