In the 7-day period between March 22 and 29, there were 111 new cases of Covid-19 in Putnam County. Putnam’s new case number has steadily increased since March 1st.
The 111 cases during the latest 7-day period is almost double (a 91.4% increase) the 58 cases reported between March 1 and 8. A lesser surge of new cases has been seen throughout the state. Statewide, new cases for March 22-29 was 2,889, an 83.1% increase over the 1,579 cases reported between March 1 and 8.
The climb in new cases has been accompanied by an rose 41% during March. The increase in active case numbers means that county residents are 41% more at risk of contracting the virus on the first day of April than they were on March 1.
On Sunday, March 28, Putnam County Health Officer Dr. Michael Robie reported that 40% of the new infections were in the 10-30 year old range, a population segment that is least likely to have been vaccinated.
The severity of the coronavirus has masked the effectiveness of the vaccine. On March 1st, approximately 10% of Putnam’s population was fully vaccinated. The available vaccines are better than 90% effective in stopping new infections.
Putnam is below the state average in vaccination rate. On Tuesday, March 30, the DHHR reported that 26.4% of West Virginians were partially vaccinated and 16.6% were fully vaccinated. In Putnam, 24.4% were partially vaccinated and 14.4% were fully vaccinated.
Putnam’s vaccination numbers should skyrocket in the coming weeks as vaccine availability has increased. As of Monday, March 29, all West Virginians, age 18 and older, are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Putnam County Health Department has scheduled first-dose vaccination clinics for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week. Appointments can be obtained directly from the Health Department online by going to: https://bit.ly/3fsxJR1. PCHD urges all who have pre-registered with the state for a vaccine, but have not yet been contacted for an appointment to use this new appointment scheduling link. This new, local scheduling tool replaces the need to pre-register on West Virginia’s vaccination website.
On Tuesday, March 30, the DHHR reported Putnam’s 7-day average infection rate to be 23.54 per 100,000 population. The severity of Covid in the county is greater than the listed 23.54 because vaccination reduces the number that can become infected. Putnam’s true infection rate among the unvaccinated is close to 30.00 per 100,000.
In his statement on Sunday, Dr. Robie issued the following advice:
- Continue to mask and social distance. If vaccinated feel free to socialize with small groups of others who are vaccinated.
- Get Vaccinated !!!! We are working to secure some Pfizer for 16 and 17 year olds but we have plenty of Moderna for those 18 and older that we will be getting in arms.
- Get Tested if you’re having symptoms. All local Urgent cares will test you. PCHD has a self scheduling system from there website for Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and you still can use Walgreens, Fruth and others for testing.