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Ohio County Stays in Orange on COVID Map

Ohio County was in orange for the second straight day on the state’s COVID-19 alert map, as there were more counties that weren’t in red than were in red, a rare sight on the map over the last few weeks.

Only 21 of West Virginia’s 55 counties were in red on the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Sunday map. Twenty-six were in orange, seven were gold and one, McDowell, was yellow.

Ohio County had a percent positivity of 7.36 on Sunday’s map, underneath the 8.00 threshold that puts a county in red. It also had an infection rate of 59.34 cases per 100,000 residents.

If the county can stay out of the red on Jan. 25, then high school students in Ohio County can join elementary and middle school students in a hybrid learning model, spending two days in person and three days remote. The Ohio County Board of Education decided Friday on a hybrid model for students to return to in-person classes.

High school students will go to remote learning if the county is red on the map.

The Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department announced 36 new positive COVID-19 cases in its Sunday night update. That put the county’s totals at 3,232 total cases and 57 related deaths since the pandemic began.

Three of West Virginia’s 21 red counties were in the Northern Panhandle — Hancock, Brooke and Marshall. Hancock County had an infection rate of 74.38 cases per 100,000 residents and a percent positivity of 8.93. Brooke County had an infection rate of 66.42 cases per 100,000 residents and a percent positivity of 10.49.

Marshall County had an infection rate of 69.25 cases per 100,000 residents and a percent positivity of 11.33. All three of those counties had at least three straight days of declining percent positivity rates.

Starting Monday and running until Jan. 22, the Wheeling-Ohio County Health Department will hold free COVID-19 testing clinics at two locations in Ohio County — the health department itself and the Wheeling Island Fire Station on North Wabash Street. The free clinics are for those with or without symptoms and no insurance is needed. Participants need to bring a driver’s license, photo ID or other proof of address.

Testing also will be conducted Tuesday at the respective city buildings in Benwood and McMechen from noon-6 p.m. Testing will be available to all individuals in Marshall County, including asymptomatic individuals, and proof of insurance will not be required.

Attendees should bring identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, to help in returning test results. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

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