Overall WV COVID-19 numbers improve, but mental health cases surge


CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — The numbers released by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and discussed at the governor’s briefing show a downward trend in almost every category.

West Virginia has slightly more than 2,700 active cases, the lowest number since early September. People ages 12 and older now have a 50% vaccination rate. 76% of those 65 years and older are fully vaccinated. And we have the fewest people hospitalized since last August.

“We have no red counties, no orange counties and please look at our map and all the green. Heaven forbid, it’s been a long time, and everything, and that’s good stuff,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

At 1 p.m. Sunday, which is West Virginia’s 158th birthday, there will be a ceremony on the front steps of the Capitol, reopening the building to the general public. It’s expected the state’s mask mandate will come to an end at that time.

While the physical health part of COVID seems under control, the mental health aspect has surged.

“During 2020, the proportion of mental health-related emergency department visits among 12 to 17-year-olds has increased 31% compared to 2019,” said Bill Crouch, Secretary, WV Department of Health & Human Resources.

And even worse, female teen suicide attempts are up 55 percent. People are urged to calls the state’s helpline for assistance.

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