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W.Va. COVID-19 Cases, Testing Dip Post Holiday

As post-holiday COVID-19 cases accelerate in the U.S., West Virginia’s caseload stays steady.

The 7-day average of new cases in the U.S. has doubled in the past two weeks, according to data compiled by the New York Times. That explosive growth is most evident in the Northeast.

In contrast, new cases in West Virginia have increased 2 percent during the same timeframe. (In the past week, cases fell by 3 percent, but testing also fell by 10 percent.)

“We are behind the rest of the country when it comes to the incidences of omicron as a cause of COVID-19 spread,” said state coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh.

Still, state officials have warned that COVID-19 could overwhelm health systems in the near future. The state never fully recovered from the delta surge that peaked in late September.

So far, 18 omicron cases have been detected in West Virginia, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources. Marsh said omicron accounts for about 6 percent of cases in West Virginia, based on a recent assessment of positive COVID-19 tests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the variant now accounts for about 59 percent of all positive cases in the U.S.

Marsh expects those percentages to grow.

“We know that the omicron variant is contagious in a manner that is very much different from anything we’ve seen before,” Marsh said.

Copyright 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting