It is dangerous, perhaps even foolhardy, to try to predict the future during a pandemic. However, the trendlines in West Virginia continue heading in the right direction.
Here are some relevant stats based on the figures released by West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources Wednesday.
–The number of current active Covid-19 cases in West Virginia was 8,067. West Virginia peaked at 29,257 back on January 10 and it has been declining steadily ever since.
–Two months ago, DHHR was consistently reporting over 1,000 new cases each day, but now the number is usually between 200 and 300, sometimes fewer. Wednesday, the state reported only 169 new cases.
–Hospitalizations from the virus reached over 800 in early January. That number has dropped to under 300.
–More and more people are being vaccinated. As of Wednesday, 443,223 doses of the vaccine had been administered. According to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker, 16 percent of the state’s population had received at least one shot, while 10 percent were fully vaccinated. Those numbers continue to be among the best in the country.
–The county alert system map showed most counties in red just a few weeks ago. Now none of the counties is in the red. About half of the state’s counties are green, meaning they have a low infection rate.
–West Virginia’s allotment of doses has increased from just over 20,000 a week when the state first began giving shots, to more than 40,000.
Of course, the pandemic has taken its toll here. As of Wednesday, 2,285 West Virginians have died from the virus. As Governor Justice has reminded us during his briefings, these are individuals, not just numbers, and each loss is a personal tragedy.
The vaccination rollout has had glitches with registration and scheduling. That is and will continue to be frustrating for many. However, it is important to keep in mind the size and complexity of this undertaking.
Some counties have been able to vaccinate a higher percentage of their population than others. General James Hoyer, head of the state’s Joint Interagency Task Force for Vaccines, said on Talkline this week that his team was working to balance out the dose distribution.
We still have a long way to go. Our health care professionals will have to continue their relentless determination to vaccinate everyone in the state who wants a shot. There is no easy way to accomplish that monumental task.
It is one person at a time and one shot at a time.