Active virus cases on rise in West Virginia’s largest county

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Active cases of the coronavirus in West Virginia’s largest county have doubled in the past week after reaching a 12-month low, health officials said Monday.

The number of cases in Kanawha County grew to 124 on Monday, up from 58 active cases on July 19, the Kanawha-Charleston health department said in a news release.

Active virus cases peaked in Kanawha County at nearly 2,100 in early January before dropping steadily, falling below 500 in mid-March. The number hit 57 on July 13, the fewest active cases since June 2020.

The county has said the recent trends among positive cases have occurred in people who are unvaccinated.

Kanawha County, which includes the state capital of Charleston, reported its first case of the delta variant on July 8. Statewide, at least 35 such cases have been reported. The delta variant is a mutated coronavirus that spreads more easily than other versions. It was first detected in India but now has been identified around the world.

The county has reported at least 324 deaths from COVID-19 and at least 2,936 people have died statewide, up 17 from a week before.

Gov. Jim Justice lifted the state’s indoor mask requirement on June 20.

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