Monongalia County has had a 61.7% increase in COVID-19 cases since July 1, with 100 new positive cases being reported.
The spike in positive test results has brought the county’s total cases up to 262, according to a Monongalia County Health Department press release.
“These cases are from restaurants and bar staff, as well as gyms and fitness centers, vacations, barbecues and travel-related exposures,” Dr. Lee B. Smith, MCHD executive director and county health officer, said in the release.
Smith says the main cause of the increase is due to lack of social distancing and not wearing masks.
MCHD staff will now need to return to a 7-day work week in order to keep up with the influx, according to Smith.
“We are having difficulty in contacting all positive cases to notify them of the need for isolation, and we are falling behind in informing contacts who have been exposed and their need for quarantine,” he said.
The majority of positive cases being reported are people between the ages of 20 and 30 years old.
Those who may have come into contact with COVID-19 or have been to locations where positive cases were detected should self-monitor for symptoms, including shortness of breath, fever, dry cough, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches and loss of smell.
“It is unreasonable to believe that this is nothing more than a flu, as hospitalizations are also increasing,” Smith said. “There are reports from across the country of young people sustaining heart disease and even death. We are asking people of the county to assist in reducing widespread illness by observing basic precautions.”
MCHD is in need of additional contact tracers. Those trained in this field and are interested in volunteering can get more information by calling 304-598-5100.