Many delay holiday gatherings while flu, RSV and coronavirus cases rise

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – This holiday season is greeted with a major winter weather event and record reports of flu, RSV and coronavirus.

Monongalia County Health Department Chief Health Officer Dr. Lee Smith believes we’re weeks away from the peak of the flu season peak and coronavirus is making a return.

Dr. Lee B. Smith (Photo/MCHD)

“Influenza cases continue to increase, we haven’t reached a peak which is predicted to happen in late January,” Smith said. “We continue to see upticks in COVID, right now we’re seeing about 60 new cases each day.”

Preston County Health Department Administrator and Immediate Past President of the West Virginia Public Health Association, V.J. Davis, said if you know you’re sick, feel sick or symptoms don’t risk spreading a virus with loved ones at a family gathering this weekend.

“By far, the safest thing to do is to error on the side of caution and either postpone your event or not attend an event if you know you’re sick,” Davis said.

Like West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania also report record outbreaks of influenza. With rising cases in and around the state Davis urges people to avoid public settings period if you are sick or are experiencing symptoms.

V.J. Davis

“You shouldn’t go out around other people, especially if people you know already have an immune compromised condition,” Davis said.

If events do go on as planned, Davis said they will recommend CDC guidelines to decrease the chances of disease transmission.

“Wearing a face covering when you’re around other people, especially around older people or immune compromised people,” Davis said. ” Or you can keep a distance from you and other people.”

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