CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia expects deaths from COVID-19 to increase in coming weeks as case numbers continue to rise.
On Friday, Gov. Jim Justice reported 1,450 active cases of COVID-19, an increase of 79 since Wednesday. The highest number of active cases, 390, is in Monongalia County.
The death toll in West Virginia stood at 100 on Friday, with the governor reporting three new deaths involving persons aged 77 to 84.
Justice also confirmed four outbreaks of COVID-19 in churches. Those churches are located in Boone, Raleigh, Taylor and Kanawha counties.
The governor again stressed the need for persons to wear face coverings and social distance while attending church.
Last week, Justice issued an order mandating the wearing of face coverings in all public buildings.
Justice said that if the public abides with his order and maintains proper social distancing in gatherings, COVID-19 numbers will start to decline in the next 10-14 days.
“Hopefully, we will start seeing the numbers get a little better,” he said. “But if the numbers continue to move as they are, we are going to have some big problems.”
Dr. Clay Marsh, vice president and dean of West Virginia University Health, said the state will see a negative impact from the current spike in cases over the next two to three weeks.
“Over the next two to three weeks, people will start to get sicker and they will start to die of COVID-19,” he said.
In Greenbrier County, the active case count on Thursday stood at 11, with one person hospitalized. Three people in Greenbrier County have died from COVID-19.