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Virus cases up, deaths down in W.Va.

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Virus cases up, deaths down in W.Va.

CHARLESTON — West Virginia experienced the third straight decrease in deaths attributed to COVID-19 infections, but the number of active cases in the state broke 5,000 as of Monday.

According to data from the Department of Health and Human Resources released Monday, the state reported 399 total COVID-19 deaths.

Sunday was the first day the DHHR reported no deaths since Sept. 5. West Virginia saw a decrease in deaths three weeks in a row — a 15-percent decrease just this week. There were 41 deaths reported between Oct. 5 and Oct. 18 and 48 deaths reported between Sept. 21 and Oct. 4.

“I’m pleased with the fact we didn’t have additional deaths on Saturday or Sunday, and we have not been advised of additional deaths as of this morning,” said Gov. Jim Justice during his Monday coronavirus briefing. “When it boils down to it though, for these families being pleased is anything but the case.”

Justice and state health officials attributed the decrease in deaths to improvements in hospital outcomes for those with serious COVID-19 symptoms and new therapeutic treatments available today. They also praised the increased amount of testing, which is helping health officials find asymptomatic spreaders and people with mild symptoms, allowing them to be treated sooner.

“The number of positive tests are going up even more, which suggests to me that we are targeting in areas where we’re seeing more spread and are able to identify them,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, the state coronavirus czar.

The number of positive cases over the last 14 days was 3,470, which was a 34-percent increase in positive cases from the previous 14 days. As of […]

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