CHARLESTON — Six thousand fewer active virus cases were reported in West Virginia Thursday, a result of the change in guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state Department of Health and Human Resources said.
The state reported 11,793 active cases on Thursday morning.
Active cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus shown on the virus dashboard at coronavirus.wv.gov now reflect an active status length of five days instead of 10, the department said. The change coincides with the revised isolation guidelines from the CDC.
“That’s why you see that big drop,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said during the pandemic briefing on Thursday.
The state reported 17,718 active cases on Wednesday morning under the previous guidelines.
Adjusted active cases in local counties as of Thursday are: Wood 490; Wirt 17; Wetzel 81; Tyler 22; Roane 56; Ritchie 39; Pleasants 36; Jackson 109; Gilmer 15; Doddridge 11; Calhoun 18.
Also, the department reported 4,947 new cases received since the Wednesday morning update. The daily positivity rate for tests was 17.36% while the cumulative rate is 6.74% since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
There were 92 cases reported in a 24-hour period in Jackson County, the county health department posted on its Facebook page Thursday morning. Officials encouraged residents to social distance when possible, wear masks, stay home if they are sick and get vaccinated.
Twenty additional deaths were attributed to the virus in the 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday morning, raising the death count to 5,392 since the pandemic began.
The deaths include a 55-year-old woman from Roane County where the death toll is now 29. Death counts in other counties in the region are: Wood, 277; Wirt, 18; Wetzel, 68; Tyler, 26; Ritchie, 25; Pleasants, 31; Jackson, 111; Gilmer, 15; Doddridge, 15; Calhoun, 9.
Deaths also were confirmed in Morgan, Greenbrier, Mason, Logan, Summers, Berkeley, Braxton, Raleigh, Grant, and Raleigh counties.
The department also included seven additional deaths from the Bureau for Public Health’s data reconciliation with the official death certificate. Those deaths occurred from October to December.
“We mourn the loss of these West Virginians and send our deepest sympathies to their loved ones,” DHHR Secretary Bill J. Crouch said. “Vaccines are safe and effective, and if you are eligible, please do your part to end the pandemic by scheduling a COVID vaccine or booster.”
Thirty-one counties, including Wood and Jackson, are red on the County Alert System map based on infection rates. Red is the highest level of alert.
Wetzel, Pleasants and Ritchie County are orange, the second highest alert level. Tyler, Wirt and Roane are at mid-level, gold.
Doddridge, Gilmer and Roane are green, the lowest level.
Hospitalizations of patients with COVID complications totaled 758 on Thursday with 592 of those unvaccinated. Hospitalizations were at 744 on Wednesday.
The state also reported 201 people were in an intensive care unit, 169 of those unvaccinated, and 115 patients are on ventilators, 104 of those unvaccinated.
The high mark of patients hospitalized in the state with COVID was 1,012 on Sept. 24.
As of Thursday, 51.5% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated.
Of the 4,292 deaths since vaccinations started in December 2020, 10.51% were breakthrough cases, residents who were vaccinated but became infected.