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Mingo County Health Department head Nurse April Hall, left, loads a dose of the COVID-19 vaccination into a syringe while Administrator Keith Blankenship, right, looks on during a vaccination event held on Feb. 25 at Williamson Memorial Hospital.

WILLIAMSON — Current rates of COVID-19 transmission are high and are forecasted to increase during the upcoming weeks, according to a Thursday news release from the Mingo County Health Department.

The rates are similar to January 2021, which resulted in some serious illness and death. Rates of COVID-19 related hospital admissions, admissions to intensive care units and ventilator use are also increasing.

Cases reported to the Mingo County Health Department in August have crossed all ages from young children to older adults. As on Monday, the county currently reports 332 active COVID-19 cases and two deaths for August.

Mingo County has 6,818 individuals vaccinated with at least one dose, and 5,758 fully vaccinated individuals representing 29.1% and 24.6% of the county’s population — the lowest rate among counties in West Virginia.

The delta variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus is the dominant circulating strain, causing more than 90% of recent infections in West Virginia. 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.

As of Monday, Mingo County was still in the red on the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ COVID-19 dashboard. The positivity rate was 13.36% with an infection rate of 92.09 per 100K.

On Thursday, the Pike County, Kentucky, Health Department reported a record high month for positive COVID-19 cases with more than 1,600 cases. The Pike County School District decided Sunday to until Tuesday, Sept. 7. District officials said the time off were not NTI days and will be made up in May 2022.

Mingo 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.
  • Monitor the ongoing COVID trends using the WV DHHR COVID-18 Dashboard and the CDC COVID Data Tracker For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/MingoCountyHeathDept or call 304-235-3570.

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