CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia’s color-coded map is now showing more red and orange counties, signaling high rates of COVID transmission.
The Mountain State has had 665 new COVID-19 cases since Friday, July 30, and is nearing 2.500 active cases. The number of Delta variant cases remains at 100. But it takes anywhere from 7 to 10 days, to run those additional tests after someone tests positive for COVID-19. So, Delta cases are likely much higher.
“The fact that we have 100 right now, means we probably have a thousand, we probably have two thousand. We don’t know what the numbers are in the general population. What we know is what we sequence from those individuals who have been positive,” said Bill Crouch, DHHR Secretary.
Berkeley County, which is near Washington, DC, and Monongalia County which is near Pittsburgh, have the highest numbers of Delta variants. While some cities, states and business around the country are restarting their mask mandates, West Virginia is not going there just yet.
“If we mandate masks in all public places, and everything, we’re going to be fragmenting our population like we can’t imagine. And in addition to that, we don’t need it. We don’t need to do it. We absolutely do not need to do that today,” said Gov. Jim Justice (R), West Virginia.
As of Monday, Aug. 2nd, 2,949 West Virginians have died from COVID-19.
While the Governor says no mask mandate is needed in West Virginia today, he says the option must remain on the table, if the numbers continue to get worse, especially with the Delta variant.