ELKINS – After seeing active cases of COVID-19 in Randolph County decline over the past month, this week’s numbers have worsened, according to local health officials.
For the first time in months, last week’s totals fell below triple digits with 90 active cases reported in the county. But since then, active cases have steadily increased, rising to 92 on Friday and 114 on Monday.
Bonnie Woodrum, an infectious disease specialist with the Randolph-Elkins Health Department, told The Inter-Mountain on Monday that the slight increase in the number was not due to a particular event.
“There was no large gathering or particular event that triggered a rise in the numbers”, Woodrum said. “I just think people feel safer and maybe don’t take as much care as they used to. I see very few people wearing masks in stores and things, or wearing them properly. “
Woodrum said there is still time for those who have not been vaccinated to do so before the start of the holiday season. Last year, the country saw COVID cases increase during the holidays.
“We would like to avoid another wave during the holidays”, she said. “It would be nice to have a real vacation. And the only way to do that is to protect each other by getting vaccinated. “
The Randolph-Elkins County Department of Health still offers vaccines and third doses for people with underlying illnesses or weakened immune systems. And there is a free pop-up COVID-19 testing site in front of the health department which is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
“If someone wants a third dose or wants to start from scratch, they can call the health department and we will accommodate them,” he added. Woodrum said. “And it’s available in other places as well. Hopefully, once we get enough people vaccinated, if you have symptoms of COVID, it wouldn’t be worse than a cold. “
Woodrum said the health department was starting to receive information about booster doses from those in certain jobs in the community, such as first responders. These doses should be for people 18 years of age and older.
“We are getting more information on these booster doses, but we have not yet obtained the final guidelines,” said Woorum. “We have to wait for the CDC and state guidance on how to administer it. But they should be here at all times.
Woodrum said she also expects vaccination approval for children five and older in the coming weeks.
“They think the Pfizer vaccine will be approved in the coming weeks for children,” she said. “People want it to be safe in schools and the best way to do that is to immunize our children. “
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported on Monday that there were 7,867 active cases in Mountain State. There have been 4,292 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in West Virginia, including an 84-year-old man from Tucker County who died over the weekend.