Peak of COVID-19 expected to reach West Virginia in two-to-three weeks

WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – Experts believe the peak of the pandemic will reach West Virginia in two to three weeks.

This means that this will be the height of the first initial wave of the virus, where we have the highest amount of infections at the same time, and hospitals may be overwhelmed.

Dr. Clay Marsh, the Dean and Vice President of Health Sciences at WVU, said that people should begin taking extra precautions now because many more people will get infected in the next two weeks.

“If you’re gonna be in closer proximity, consider wearing a face cover, a mask, a bandanna, a scarf. The reason why that’s important is because it’s been shown that when you talk or you clear your throat, having some sort of cover over your mouth reduces the number of droplets that can spread,” Marsh said.

Marsh also said the virus can live on surfaces for a long time, which is why it’s still important to avoid touching your face, even if you haven’t been in contact with anyone lately. 

“The virus can live on cardboard for up to 24 hours, not necessarily in the highest concentrations at the end of that, but it can stay there and we presume on paper as well. And it can also live on stainless steel and plastic for up to three days.”

And even after this month and new infections begin to slow, we’ll still need to take precautions to avoid infecting ourselves and others that may be at higher risk. 

“Even after this first phase of the virus is over, we’ll still have a lot of people in the United States and in West Virginia that will not have any active immunity to the virus. They won’t have been infected and have gotten better.” 

Continuing to practice social distancing and other precautions will be extremely important this month. Because of how easily this virus is transmitted, it’s not just your own health that’s at risk.

“We have called upon every West Virginian and we still do to be responsible. Because you being responsible is not only for your own health in this pandemic. It’s for your family;s health, for your neighbor’s health.”

In the coming weeks, things may seem to only get worse. But according to Marsh, if we all continue to practice social distancing and taking precautions, then things may not be as bad as projected. 

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