“We’re headed in the wrong direction,” said Dr. John Holloway, member of the Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health. “And it’s simply a matter of people not being vaccinated.

He said nationwide, new cases were down to 15,000 a week in early summer; now they’re past 100,000 new cases a week.

In the holiday season, people are gathering, shopping and going out more.

And it’s already showing up in the case numbers.

“The Ohio County incidence of COVID has almost doubled in one week,” Dr. Holloway noted.

He says the Wheeling-Ohio County Board of Health wants every workplace to require all employees to be fully vaccinated.

“Because of public health, workplaces are smoke-free,” he said. “And so the way we see it, if a place is smoke-free, it should be virus-free. And the only way to keep it virus-free is for people to be vaccinated.”

Dr. Holloway says being hospitalized as a COVID patient is a miserable existence.

“They’re literally in solitary confinement,” he noted. “There are no windows. There is a noisy ventilation system to keep the virus out of the hospital hallways. No visitors are allowed. You have a nurse coming in to take care of your needs, but basically you’re on your own. I can’t think of anything worse than being sick in the hospital with COVID. And it’s totally unnecessary. Because 90% of the individuals who are in the hospital with COVID are not vaccinated.”

He says an employer may not want to lose a valuable employee over their unwillingness to be vaccinated.

But he says that employee could wipe out the whole staff.