West Virginia infant tests positive for the coronavirus

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — An infant in West Virginia has tested positive for the coronavirus as the state’s caseload continues to grow, officials said Wednesday.

At least 963 people have the virus after nearly 27,000 tests, state health officials said. About half of the 29 people who have died were nursing home residents, according to Clay Marsh, the state’s virus czar.

Logan County Health Department Administrator Steve Browning said a 4-month-old girl who tested positive is being treated at home. He did not have details on her condition.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice, turning his attention to reopening the state’s economy, has pushed to ease virus restrictions on hospitals if they can prove they have enough protective equipment and could handle an unexpected surge in cases. The move came as he and his administration said the state’s testing capacity has been dramatically increased.

Still, Justice declined to give specific benchmarks for lifting other virus restrictions.

“We’re doing all the stuff you may wonder whether or not we’re doing but you don’t get the results we’re getting by just shooting in the dark.” he said Wednesday.

Justice has canceled school for the rest of the year. He also pushed back the state’s primary election from May 12 to June 9, while expanding a vote-by-mail option for people worried about getting the virus. On Wednesday, Democrats in the state Senate and House of Delegates called for votes in the primary to be cast entirely by mail to protect citizens and poll workers from becoming infected.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can bring about more severe illness, including pneumonia, and even death.

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