Mon County COVID numbers climb

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – COVID-19 infection rates are in a steep climb in Mon County, according to health officer Dr. Lee Smith.

“Our numbers have just about doubled in the last seven days,”Dr. Smith said on Talkline,”On June 30 we had about 160 cases and on the 7th of July we now have 300 cases.”

Morgantown and Mon County are watching 138 active cases, and that number is rising. Contact tracers have been working seven days a week to to find all the people that may have been in contact someone positive.

“Some of it vacation and travel-related, some is going to fitness and gymnasiums, a large number are bars and restaurants,” Dr. Smith said,”But, the common denominator here is people are not wearing masks and they’re observing social distancing.”

Many studies show masks are very valuable in stopping the spread of the virus. Dr. Clay marsh says in states with no mask directive cases increase by 84 percent and in places that require employees only to wear masks or face coverings the rate of infection is 70 percent.

“However, in states with executive orders that require patrons and employees in indoor establishments to wear masks there’s been a 12 percent decrease in the number of COVID positive cases,” COVID Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said.

Dr. Smith says the number of people that question the effectiveness don’t have access to all the data.

“Doctors and nurses that work everyday in the COVID unit where people are very sick,” Dr. Smith said,”They wear a mask, gloves, face shield and a gown and we’re not seeing outbreaks in these individuals in a work-related situation.

Twenty to 29-year-olds have the highest percentage of infections in state at more than 20 percent, the next highest is 50 to 59-year-olds at 15 percent. Smith says until we take the threat seriously the case numbers will continue to increase.

“We know that it causes heart diseases and lung diseases and other serious health conditions,”Dr. Smith said,”And we don’t understand the disease to the extent that we can make those predictions, so the best thing to do is to not get it.”