Is West Virginia ready for a second wave? Health Department chimes in on national study

Ohio County

OHIO COUNTY, W.VA. (WTRF) — Covid-19 cases are spiking in Ohio County and many are on their toes wondering if a second wave is around the corner; with recent studies claiming West Virginia is not prepared.  

Ranked 8th least prepared in terms of healthcare and readiness for a second, West Virginia is said to be a geriatric state with high obesity and asthma rates. Things that don’t mesh well with COVID-19. 

There’s also some variables on how the disease was here prior. We may have saw other waves of this earlier, and now we’re over it and now we’re looking to possibly see other waves.

Howard Gamble, Administrator with Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department

The experts are saying that a second wave is coming to hit and it could be worse than the first wave. 

Nelson Garcia, PR Specialist with

Minnesota, ranked most prepared, has a young population with only 30 percent facing obesity.   

39.5 percent of the population is facing obesity; 19.9 percent of the population is over 65. So those are two things that landed West Virginia 8th in our ranking, but other things that also stand out are 12 percent of the population has asthma and 263 physicians per 1,000 residents.

Nelson Garcia, PR Specialist with

This isn’t new. But with West Virginia coming out of round one relatively unscathed unlike surrounding states, doesn’t that mean we already know what to expect? With relatively low COVID-19 spread rates compared to the rest of the country. So, do we take these desolate predictors with a grain of salt?  

Populated areas, you’re going to have more cases, definitely. Well then you can tie it back, are we doing enough testing? We have an abundance of testing in the Ohio Valley.

Howard Gamble, Administrator with Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department

As Minnesota has over 300 doctors per 1,000 residents, compared to West Virginia’s 263, the medical infrastructure becomes the one main thing the Mountain State can control.  

If states didn’t have certain things like doctors and hospital beds and if the population is more susceptible to the disease and if it would make it harder for them to take control of the virus.

Nelson Garcia, PR Specialist with

Remember a lot of things could happen as we go into the next months; the next several months. We’re prepared but only as we’re prepared in our everyday operations. Public Health Infrastructure has been reduced dramatically over the years.

Howard Gamble, Administrator with Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department

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