CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Active cases of COVID-19 hit their highest levels in West Virginia in five months Thursday.
There were at least 3,221 ongoing cases in the state, the highest since 3,339 on Feb. 24, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources’ COVID-19 dashboard. Active cases statewide had plunged to 263 on April 4 after surpassing 21,000 in January.
Confirmed daily cases in West Virginia surpassed 480 on Tuesday and Wednesday after falling below 400 on each of the previous four days.
The increase occurred as President Joe Biden tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, underscoring the persistence of the highly contagious virus as new variants challenge the nation’s efforts to resume normalcy after two and a half years of pandemic disruptions.
The number of people hospitalized for the virus in West Virginia has risen steadily since bottoming out at 77 in mid-April. It was at 299 Thursday. The pandemic record of 1,097 was set on Feb. 2. The National Guard ended its staffing assistance to hospitals on March 11.
There have been 7,121 virus deaths in West Virginia since the start of the pandemic.