COVID numbers took an unprecedented leap in Ohio County


OHIO COUNTY, W. Va. (WTRF) – There are 502 new confirmed COVID cases in Ohio County since December 26. Fifty-eight of those are patients under age 18.

While that number sounds shockingly high, the Ohio County Health Department administrator said the true number is higher.

Howard Gamble explained there are whole groups of positives not being counted. Those include people who took a home test and people who just didn’t get tested. He added while testing is a good way to know your status, it is not the ultimate answer.

We are not going to test our way out of this. The solution is vaccination. If we can get vaccinated, we can control it.

Howard Gamble, Health Administrator, Ohio County Health Department

Ohio County’s drive-through testing site outside the former OVMC is swamped. People report a two-hour wait time in line.

It’s busy enough that we had to divert some staff to go help out. Although we had some swabbers down there doing testing, they needed a lot of data intake individuals so that’s where we diverted today.

Howard Gamble, Health Administrator, Ohio County Health Department

Hundreds or more are getting tested every day.

That’s a lot more than the 100 to 150 a day getting vaccinated at the clinic at the Highlands.

We wish we were seeing as many people getting vaccinated as there are getting tested. If we can get more people vaccinated—your first dose, your second dose, your booster—or get the individuals in there who are younger, five and up, it would be a lot better.

Howard Gamble, Health Administrator, Ohio County Health Department

None of these 502 latest positive cases are the Omicron variant.

Gamble said as the numbers surge, our health care system will be increasingly burdened.

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