WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – The Ohio County Health Department’s weekly COVID 19 case numbers have hit an all-time high.

For the week that just ended, they are reporting 701 new confirmed cases and four deaths.

Health officials tend to look beyond the numbers to interpret what they mean for the future.

There’s always a spike in numbers after a holiday with all the travel and gatherings, but out of these 701 new cases, none of them have been found to be the Omicron variant. It’s known to be far more transmissible, so the Ohio County Health Department said once it hits this area we might see future case numbers even higher than this.

If this is just the result of our holiday gatherings, this is a big number but we assumed this would happen. If this is not Omicron, we should assume if we can look forward as far as disease, that we will probably see a blossoming of cases again if it’s Omicron.

Howard Gamble, Health Administrator, Ohio County Health Department

Gamble said the numbers don’t reflect every case in the county. He believes there are many others who either took a home test, or didn’t get tested at all.

He added that every time there’s an increase in cases, there’s an increase in demand for hospital services. He said all across West Virginia, hospitals are reporting higher demand.