West Virginia confirmed virus cases triple in 7 weeks

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The number of reported deaths from the new coronavirus in West Virginia has jumped 23% in the past week, with six more fatalities announced Wednesday pushing the total to at least 153.

The state of 1.8 million residents has seen a smaller amount of cases and deaths compared to other places since the pandemic began. Lately, though, the numbers have been alarming.

Confirmed cases have tripled in the past seven weeks, surpassing the 8,000 mark total on Wednesday, while the numbers of deaths have shot up 66%.

Officials have blamed the recent surge in part on vacation trips to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a popular destination for West Virginians.

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice has constantly urged residents to wear masks but he has resisted reimposing additional restrictions.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe symptoms and be fatal. The vast majority of people recover.

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