Putnam displayed green, the most favorable color, on the DHHR Covid-Alert Map between March 16 and 20 before turning yellow on Sunday, March 18. The green coloration resulted from an average test positivity rate of less than 3% for the preceding 7-day periods.
On Tuesday, March 23, Putnam displayed yellow. While yellow is a more desirable coloration than gold, orange or red, it is not a color to be celebrated. Only 14 of West Virginia’s 55 counties displayed a color worse than yellow on the map. The dominant color was green with 32 counties registering positivity rates lower than 3%.
When the Covid-Alert Map was first devised, green was assigned to counties with infection rates of less than 3 per 100,000 population. If the infection rate metric were relied upon, only three West Virginia counties would show green.
The infection rate for Putnam on March 23 was 14.93, deserving of a gold coloration. Statewide, 23 counties had higher infection rates.
Infection rate closely correlates with the actual risk of contracting the disease because it is a direct measure of the percentage of the population which is known to carry the virus. The infection rate in every county is projected to drop dramatically when significant percentage of residents are vaccinated. On March 23, only 256,000 of the state’s 1.8 million population had been fully vaccinated, a rate of 143 per 1,000. Putnam trails the state average with 120 per 1,000 fully vaccinated. In total, 6,774 of the county’s 56,450 residents have received both shots.
On Saturday, March 27, approximately one thousand residents will receive their second shot at Hurricane High School and be fully vaccinated.
The lengthening of daylight hours (exposure to ultraviolet) and more vaccinations will result in a smaller number of active cases and lessen the likelihood of exposure to the disease. Currently the number of active cases in the county is 245. This is the lowest number since 230 on October 8, 2020. The active cases doubled in the last two weeks of September and first week of October. This data is cause to believe that there will be less than 120 active Putnam cases in the second weekend of April.
A resurgence of the corona virus in the fall will occur unless at least half the residents are fully vaccinated at that time.