The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is advising the public that current rates of COVID-19 transmission are HIGH and are forecasted to increase during the upcoming weeks.\
They anticipate rates of new COVID-19 infections in the range of those seen in January of 2021 resulting in some serious illness and death.
Rates of COVID-19 related hospital admissions, admissions to intensive care units, and ventilator use are likewise increasing.
Cases reported to the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department in the month of August have crossed all ages from young children to older adults.
Partially and fully vaccinated individuals represent one in five new cases in Ohio County cases in August.
The Delta Variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the dominant circulating strain causing more than 90% of recent infections in WV. Reports indicate that severely ill patients in local hospitals are much more likely to be unvaccinated than all reported cases, consistent with recently published reports regarding the protective qualities of COVID vaccination.
Ohio County residents are being advised of these events so that they can make appropriate decisions to protect themselves and others against COVID-19 infection. The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department is asking residents to help “Shorten the Surge” by taking the following steps:
· Get vaccinated if not vaccinated and complete your vaccination series to become fully vaccinated. Individuals with specific immune deficiencies also have the availability of a third dose to increase the likelihood of vaccine protection.
· Mask up in all indoor public spaces, whether you are vaccinated or not and do so until the surge is over and the risk decreases. Consider also masking in crowded outdoor spaces.
· Maintain distance at all times as much as possible in public space.
· Use contactless or contact lowering services as much as possible.
· Continue to wash hands and sanitize surfaces frequently.
· Get tested for COVID if you develop any symptoms or have been exposed to someone who is infected with COVID.
· Participate in any COVID testing screening available at your school or work.