Free COVID-19 Testing Events Added in Eight Counties – West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

The West Virginia Department of Health and
Human Resources (
DHHR) announced additional
free COVID-19 testing events in eight counties.

“As these counties are experiencing increases in
COVID-19 cases right now, we encourage all residents to take advantage of these
free testing events,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, State Health Officer and
Commissioner of DHHR’s Bureau for Public Health. “Testing is vital if you are
experiencing symptoms such as cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue or body
aches, or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.”

Pop-up events will be held April 5-10, 2021, in Berkeley, Boone, Fayette,
Hardy, Jefferson, Morgan, Putnam, and Raleigh counties:

Berkeley
County

  • April 5-9, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, 891 Auto Parts Place, Martinsburg,
    WV.

  • April 5-9, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Ambrose Park, 25404 Mall
    Drive, Martinsburg, WV.

  • April 6 and 8, 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Shenandoah Community Health,
    99 Tavern Road, Martinsburg, WV.

  • April 6 and 8, 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM, Dorothy McCormack Building,
    2000 Foundation Way, Martinsburg, WV.

 

In addition, pharmacy sites offer recurring testing every week in
Berkeley County:

  • Reeds Pharmacy, 5078 Williamsport Pike, Martinsburg, WV; Monday –
    Friday, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

  • WVU Medicine Berkeley Medical Center, 2500 Hospital Drive, Martinsburg,
    WV; Tuesday, Thursday, 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM.

  • Woman and Child Inc., 1178 Shepherdstown Road, Martinsburg, WV,
    Wednesday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM; Friday 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. Call 304-264-9332 for
    an appointment.

  • Walgreens, 7916 Winchester Avenue, Inwood, WV; Monday – Saturday, 8:00
    AM – 9:00 PM; Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

 

Boone County

  • April 6-8, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Boone County Health
    Department, 213 Kenmore Drive, Danville, WV. Pre-register at
    https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/

  • April 9, 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Boone County Health
    Department, 213 Kenmore Drive, Danville, WV.  

 

In addition, pharmacy sites offer recurring testing every week in
Boone County:

  • Hygeia, 37456 Coal River Road, Whitesville, WV; Monday – Friday,
    8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.

  • Hygeia, 35767 Pond Fork Road, Wharton, WV; Monday – Friday, 8:30
    AM – 5:00 PM.

  • Southern West Virginia Health Systems, 471 Main Street, Madison, WV;
    Wednesday
    9:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

  • Walgreens, 69 Lewis Street, Whitesville, WV; Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM –
    8:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For an
    appointment, visit
    https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing.

 

Fayette County

  • April 7, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, J.W. &
    Hazel
    Ruby West
    Virginia Welcome Center, 55 Hazel Lane, Mount Hope, WV.  

  • April 8, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM, J.W. &
    Hazel
    Ruby West
    Virginia Welcome Center, 55 Hazel Lane, Mount Hope, WV.  

  • April 9, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Smithers Gateway Center, 1
    Greyhound Lane, Smithers, WV.

 

In addition, pharmacy sites offer recurring testing every week in
Fayette County:

  • Fayette County Health Department, 202 Church Street, Fayetteville,
    WV; Monday and Wednesday, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM. For an appointment, call
    304-574-1617.

  • Walgreens, 1201 Main Street, Oak Hill, WV; Monday – Friday, 9:00
    AM – 8:00 PM; Saturday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Sunday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. For an
    appointment, visit
    https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing.

 

Hardy County

 

In addition, pharmacy sites offer recurring testing every week in
Hardy County:

  • Love Memorial Clinic, 112 Kuykendall Lane, Moorefield, WV; Monday
    – Friday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM. For an appointment,
    call 304-530-7755.

  • South Fork Pharmacy, 732 N. Main Street, Moorefield, WV; Monday –
    Friday 9:30 AM –12:30 PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
    https://hipaa.jotform.com/210342593690152 or call
    304-530-1044.

 

Jefferson
County

  • April 5-9, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Hollywood Casino, 750
    Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, WV.

  • April 5-9, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Shepherd University
    Wellness Center Parking Lot, 164 University Drive, Shepherdstown, WV.

  • April 10, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Hollywood Casino, 750
    Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, WV.

  • April 10, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Shepherd
    University Wellness Center Parking Lot, 164 University Drive, Shepherdstown, WV.

 

In addition, pharmacy sites offer recurring testing every week in
Jefferson County:

 

Morgan County

  • April 5-9, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Valley Health War Memorial
    Hospital, 1 Health Way, Berkeley Springs, WV.  

 

In addition, pharmacy sites offer recurring testing every week in
Morgan County:

  • Reeds Pharmacy, 261 Berkmore Place,
    Berkeley Springs, WV; Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM; Saturday and Sunday 9:00
    AM – 2:00 PM.

 

Putnam County

  • April 6 and 10, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Liberty Square, 613 Putnam
    Village, Hurricane, WV. Pre-register at
    bit.ly/pchd-covid.

  • April 7 and 9, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Liberty Square, 613 Putnam
    Village, Hurricane, WV. Pre-register at
    bit.ly/pchd-covid.

  • April 8, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Liberty Square, 613 Putnam
    Village, Hurricane, WV. Pre-register at
    bit.ly/pchd-covid.

 

In addition, pharmacy sites offer recurring testing every week in
Putnam County:

  • FamilyCare Health Centers, 503 Roosevelt
    Boulevard, Eleanor, WV; Monday – Thursday, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

  • FamilyCare Health Centers, 97 Great Teays
    Boulevard, Scott Depot, WV; Monday – Thursday, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM.

  • Fruth, 501 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor,
    WV; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00
    AM – 4:00 PM; Sunday, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
    https://www.doineedacovid19test.com/Eleanor_WV_2045.html.

  • Fruth, 3109 Teays Valley Road, Hurricane,
    WV; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Sunday,
    11:00 AM – 5:00 PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
     https://www.doineedacovid19test.com/Hurricane_WV_1547.html.

  • Fruth, 4539 Teays Valley Road, Scott
    Depot, WV; Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM;
    Sunday, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
    https://www.doineedacovid19test.com/ScottDepot_WV_1544.html.

  • Fruth, 12803 Winfield Road, Winfield, WV;
    Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM –
    4:00 PM; Sunday, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
    https://www.doineedacovid19test.com/Winfield_WV_2041.html.

  • Walgreens, 201 Roosevelt Boulevard,
    Eleanor, WV; Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM;
    Sunday, 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
    https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing.

  • Walgreens, 3000 Teays Valley Road, WV; Monday
    – Friday, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Sunday, 10:00 AM – 6:00
    PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
    https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing.

  • Walgreens, 215 State Route 34, Hurricane,
    WV; Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Sunday, 10:00
    AM – 6:00 PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
    https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing.

 

Raleigh County

  • April 5, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Beckley-Raleigh County
    Health Department, 1602 Harper Road, Beckley, WV. Pre-register at
    https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/.

  • April 6, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, FMRS Health Systems, 102
    South Eisenhower Drive, Beckley, WV.

  • April 6, 2:15 PM – 4:00 PM, FMRS Health Systems, 216
    South Vance Drive, Beckley, WV.

  • April 6, 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Beckley-Raleigh County
    Health Department, 1602 Harper Road, Beckley, WV. Pre-register at
    https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/.

  • April 7-8, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Beckley-Raleigh County
    Health Department, 1602 Harper Road, Beckley WV. Pre-register at
    https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/.


In addition, pharmacy sites offer recurring testing every week in Raleigh
County:

  • Beckley Appalachian Regional Healthcare, 306
    Stanaford Road, Beckley, WV; Monday – Friday, 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

  • Beckley Health Right, 111 Randolph
    Street, Beckley, WV; Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM.

  • Walgreens, 886 Ritter Drive, Beaver, WV; Monday
    – Friday, 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM; Saturday, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; Sunday, 10:00 AM – 6:00
    PM. To schedule an appointment, visit
    https://www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing.

 

Free COVID-19 testing is
available to all West Virginia residents, including asymptomatic individuals. For daily COVID-19 testing
events, as well as additional periodic and pharmacy testing events, visit
https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/pages/testing.aspx.

Additionally,
West Virginians may pre-register for their COVID-19 vaccination at
vaccinate.wv.gov or locate a vaccine at www.vaccinefinder.org.

COVID-19 Daily Update 4-4-2021 – West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

​The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reports as of April 4, 2021, there have been 2,488,126 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 143,456 total cases and 2,695 total deaths.

DHHR has confirmed the deaths of a 77-year old male from Ohio County and a 50-year old male from Wetzel County.

“Spring is a time of hope and new beginnings,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “In our sadness today, we must not lose sight of the ability to move beyond the pandemic by prioritizing safety measures and vaccination.”

CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (1,322), Berkeley (10,910), Boone (1,779), Braxton (842), Brooke (2,073), Cabell (8,450), Calhoun (252), Clay (413), Doddridge (517), Fayette (3,087), Gilmer (731), Grant (1,188), Greenbrier (2,536), Hampshire (1,640), Hancock (2,643), Hardy (1,399), Harrison (5,212), Jackson (1,813), Jefferson (4,120), Kanawha (13,352), Lewis (1,113), Lincoln (1,367), Logan (2,953), Marion (3,976), Marshall (3,191), Mason (1,887), McDowell (1,427), Mercer (4,419), Mineral (2,670), Mingo (2,326), Monongalia (8,709), Monroe (1,027), Morgan (1,040), Nicholas (1,401), Ohio (3,893), Pendleton (670), Pleasants (820), Pocahontas (621), Preston (2,738), Putnam (4,622), Raleigh (5,687), Randolph (2,468), Ritchie (644), Roane (545), Summers (734), Taylor (1,159), Tucker (519), Tyler (658), Upshur (1,796), Wayne (2,769), Webster (450), Wetzel (1,189), Wirt (370), Wood (7,475), Wyoming (1,843).

Delays may be experienced with the reporting of information from the local health department to DHHR. As case surveillance continues at the local health department level, it may reveal that those tested in a certain county may not be a resident of that county, or even the state as an individual in question may have crossed the state border to be tested. Such is the case of Pendleton County in this report.

West Virginians may pre-register for their COVID-19 vaccination at vaccinate.wv.gov. The COVID-19 dashboard located at www.coronavirus.wv.gov shows the total number of vaccines administered. Please see the vaccine summary tab for more detailed information.

Free COVID-19 testing is available to all West Virginia residents. For daily testing events, as well as additional periodic and pharmacy testing events, visit https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/pages/testing.aspx. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: April 2, 2021 – FDA.gov

For Immediate Release:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the following actions taken in its ongoing response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Following recent FDA actions to support test development, the FDA took swift action this week to get more tests for screening asymptomatic individuals on the market. On March 31, the FDA authorized several COVID-19 tests for over-the-counter (OTC) use without a prescription when used for serial screening (testing asymptomatic individuals multiple times on a routine basis), such as testing twice a week in schools or other settings. The FDA also authorized serial screening tests for use in a point-of-care (POC) setting, such as a doctor’s office. These authorizations follow the FDA’s recent actions to advance OTC and other screening test development. These tests:
    • Can be used to test people with or without COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Are antigen tests that detect proteins from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from a nasal swab sample.
    • Give results in 10-30 minutes without needing to send a sample to a laboratory for analysis.
  • This week, the FDA posted a new web page SARS-CoV-2 Viral Mutations: Impact on COVID-19 Tests for clinical laboratory staff and health care providers about the impact of viral mutations on COVID-19 molecular, antigen, and serology tests. This web page builds on the letter the FDA issued January 8, 2021, alerting clinical laboratory staff and health care providers to the potential for false negative results due to the impact of viral mutations on molecular SARS-CoV-2 tests. The web page includes specific molecular tests impacted by viral mutations and recommendations for those tests, including, new information on Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2, Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 DoD, and Xpert Omni SARS-CoV-2 tests. The FDA will update this page as significant new information about viral mutations and impact on COVID-19 tests becomes available. The FDA will announce any updates by email to CDRH In Vitro Diagnostics email list subscribers and in COVID-19 Update press releases.
  • Today, the FDA posted translations of the Consumer Update: Learn More about COVID-19 Vaccines From the FDA in five additional languages: Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
  • As part of the FDA’s effort to protect consumers, the agency issued a warning letter jointly with the Federal Trade Commission to Natural Adventure, LLC for selling unapproved products with fraudulent COVID-19 claims. The company sells “Purity Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol” and “Purity Essential Oil Blend” and misleadingly represents that the products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19 in people. The FDA requested that Natural Adventure, LLC take immediate action to cease the sale of any unapproved and unauthorized products for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Consumers concerned about COVID-19 should consult with their health care provider.
  • Testing updates:

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

###


Inquiries

Consumer:
888-INFO-FDA


Related Information

FDA.gov Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: April 2, 2021 – FDA.gov

For Immediate Release:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced the following actions taken in its ongoing response effort to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Following recent FDA actions to support test development, the FDA took swift action this week to get more tests for screening asymptomatic individuals on the market. On March 31, the FDA authorized several COVID-19 tests for over-the-counter (OTC) use without a prescription when used for serial screening (testing asymptomatic individuals multiple times on a routine basis), such as testing twice a week in schools or other settings. The FDA also authorized serial screening tests for use in a point-of-care (POC) setting, such as a doctor’s office. These authorizations follow the FDA’s recent actions to advance OTC and other screening test development. These tests:
    • Can be used to test people with or without COVID-19 symptoms.
    • Are antigen tests that detect proteins from SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from a nasal swab sample.
    • Give results in 10-30 minutes without needing to send a sample to a laboratory for analysis.
  • This week, the FDA posted a new web page SARS-CoV-2 Viral Mutations: Impact on COVID-19 Tests for clinical laboratory staff and health care providers about the impact of viral mutations on COVID-19 molecular, antigen, and serology tests. This web page builds on the letter the FDA issued January 8, 2021, alerting clinical laboratory staff and health care providers to the potential for false negative results due to the impact of viral mutations on molecular SARS-CoV-2 tests. The web page includes specific molecular tests impacted by viral mutations and recommendations for those tests, including, new information on Cepheid Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2, Xpert Xpress SARS-CoV-2 DoD, and Xpert Omni SARS-CoV-2 tests. The FDA will update this page as significant new information about viral mutations and impact on COVID-19 tests becomes available. The FDA will announce any updates by email to CDRH In Vitro Diagnostics email list subscribers and in COVID-19 Update press releases.
  • Today, the FDA posted translations of the Consumer Update: Learn More about COVID-19 Vaccines From the FDA in five additional languages: Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.
  • As part of the FDA’s effort to protect consumers, the agency issued a warning letter jointly with the Federal Trade Commission to Natural Adventure, LLC for selling unapproved products with fraudulent COVID-19 claims. The company sells “Purity Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol” and “Purity Essential Oil Blend” and misleadingly represents that the products can mitigate, prevent, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19 in people. The FDA requested that Natural Adventure, LLC take immediate action to cease the sale of any unapproved and unauthorized products for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. Consumers concerned about COVID-19 should consult with their health care provider.
  • Testing updates:

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

###


Inquiries

Consumer:
888-INFO-FDA


Related Information

South Carolina Tops Two Million COVID-19 Vaccinations Given – SCDHEC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 1, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina marked two historical milestones this week: more than two million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the state, and everyone 16 and older is now eligible to get their shot.

As of today, a total of 2,034,077 doses have been given statewide, with 1,289,672 South Carolina residents having received at least one dose of vaccine.

“Having the COVID-19 vaccine reach the two million mark is a giant step toward ending this pandemic in South Carolina,” said Dr. Edward Simmer, DHEC Director. “We’re grateful to our local leaders, providers, and community partners for their efforts to get shots into arms as quickly as possible. They’ve not only helped our state achieve this two-million-dose milestone, but they’ve also allowed us to open up vaccines to all South Carolinians 16 and older much faster that we initially anticipated. Now we need to continue this great effort until every South Carolinian has had an opportunity to receive the vaccine.”

While vaccine doses remain somewhat limited, South Carolina and other states are seeing an uptick in the number of doses they’re receiving from the federal government. All three vaccines — Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen — are available to those aged 18 and older, and, currently, Pfizer is the only vaccine available to those aged 16-18.

“Our new message, loud and clear, is ‘don’t wait – vaccinate,’” said Dr. Brannon Traxler, DHEC Interim Public Health Director. “While you may not be able to get your shot right away, we urge everyone to continue searching for an appointment. Providers are working to open as many appointments as quickly as possible based on their inventory, and appointment availability will vary each week. For everyone 16 and older: it’s your turn to help us put a stop to COVID-19.”

As of today, 31.4 percent of South Carolinians have received at least one shot, and 17.1 percent are considered fully vaccinated. Herd immunity can be achieved and DHEC advises that certain public health recommendations like masks and physical distancing can begin to be relaxed once 70 to 80 percent of the population is vaccinated. Until then, it’s important for everyone to continue to wear masks and physically distance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), here’s what you can do once you’ve been fully vaccinated.

“The Pfizer, Moderna, and Janssen vaccines are all safe and very effective at preventing severe illness and death, and I encourage everyone 16 and older to begin making their appointments and to get whichever brand of the shot they can first,” said Dr. Linda Bell, State Epidemiologist. “These vaccines truly are the light at the end of the tunnel, and we are indebted to the scientists and doctors across the world who have dedicated themselves to the safe and thoroughly researched development of these vaccines. These vaccines are saving lives and helping the world return to normal.” 

To find a COVID-19 vaccine appointment, visit DHEC’s vaccine locator map or call your provider directly to ask about appointment availability. For the latest COVID-19 vaccine information, visit scdhec.gov/vaxfacts. 

COVID-19 Confirmed As Third Leading Cause Of Death In US Last Year : Coronavirus Updates – NPR

Congressional leaders held a candlelight vigil outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on February 23, 2021 to mark the more than 500,000 U.S. deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 was the third leading underlying cause of death in 2020, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday. Al Drago/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption

Al Drago/Getty Images

Congressional leaders held a candlelight vigil outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on February 23, 2021 to mark the more than 500,000 U.S. deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 was the third leading underlying cause of death in 2020, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.

Al Drago/Getty Images

COVID-19 was the third underlying cause of death in 2020 after heart disease and cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed on Wednesday.

A pair of reports published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report sheds new light on the approximately 375,000 U.S. deaths attributed to COVID-19 last year, and highlights the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on communities of color — a point CDC Director Rochelle Walensky emphasized at a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing on Wednesday.

She said deaths related to COVID-19 were higher among American Indian and Alaskan Native persons, Hispanics, Blacks and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander persons than whites. She added that “among nearly all of these ethnic and racial minority groups, the COVID-19 related deaths were more than double the death rate of non-Hispanic white persons.”

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“The data should serve again as a catalyst for each of us [to] continue to do our part to drive down cases and reduce the spread of COVID-19, and get people vaccinated as soon as possible,” she said.

The reports examine data from U.S. death certificates and the National Vital Statistics System to draw conclusions about the accuracy of the country’s mortality surveillance and shifts in mortality trends.

One found that the age-adjusted death rate rose by 15.9% in 2020, its first increase in three years.

Overall death rates were highest among Black and American Indian/Alaska Native people, and higher for elderly people than younger people, according to the report. Age-adjusted death rates were higher among males than females.

COVID-19 was reported as either the underlying cause of death or a contributing cause of death for some 11.3% of U.S. fatalities, and replaced suicide as one of the top 10 leading causes of death.

Similarly, COVID-19 death rates were highest among individuals ages 85 and older, with the age-adjusted death rate higher among males than females. The COVID-19 death rate was highest among Hispanic and American Indian/ Alaska Native people.

Researchers emphasized that these death estimates are provisional, as the final annual mortality data for a given year are typically released 11 months after the year ends. Still, they said early estimates can give researchers and policymakers an early indication of changing trends and other “actionable information.”

“These data can guide public health policies and interventions aimed at reducing numbers of deaths that are directly or indirectly associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and among persons most affected, including those who are older, male, or from disproportionately affected racial/ethnic minority groups,” they added.

The other study examined 378,048 death certificates from 2020 that listed COVID-19 as a cause of death. Researchers said their findings “support the accuracy of COVID-19 mortality surveillance” using official death certificates, noting the importance of high-quality documentation and countering concerns about deaths being improperly attributed to the pandemic.

Among the death certificates reviewed, just 5.5% listed COVID-19 and no other conditions. Among those that included at least one other condition, 97% had either a co-occurring diagnosis of a “plausible chain-of-event” condition such as pneumonia or respiratory failure, a “significant contributing” condition such as hypertension or diabetes, or both.

“Continued messaging and training for professionals who complete death certificates remains important as the pandemic progresses,” researchers said. “Accurate mortality surveillance is critical for understanding the impact of variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and of COVID-19 vaccination and for guiding public health action.”

Officials at the Wednesday briefing continued to call on Americans to practice mitigation measures and do their part to keep themselves and others safe, noting that COVID-19 cases continue to rise even as the country’s vaccine rollout accelerates.

The 7-day average of new cases is just under 62,000 cases per day, Walensky said, marking a nearly 12% increase from the previous 7-day period. Hospitalizations are also up at about 4,900 admissions per day, she added, with the 7-day average of deaths remaining slightly above 900 per day.

Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist at New York University who served as a COVID-19 adviser on the Biden transition team, told NPR’s Morning Edition on Wednesday that she remains concerned about the rate of new infections, even as the country has made considerable progress with its vaccination rollout.

She compared vaccines to a raincoat and an umbrella, noting they provide protection during a rainstorm but not in a hurricane

“And we’re really still in a COVID hurricane,” Gounder said. “Transmission rates are extremely high. And so even if you’ve been vaccinated, you really do need to continue to be careful, avoid crowds and wear masks in public.”

COVID-19 Daily Update 3-30-2021 – West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) reports as of March 30, 2021, there have been 2,438,840 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 141,332 total cases and 2,640 total deaths.

DHHR has confirmed the deaths of a 74-year old female from Raleigh County and an 84-year old female from Raleigh County.

“These are holes in our hearts and communities,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “Our lives have been forever changed by the pandemic.”

CASES PER COUNTY: Barbour (1,310), Berkeley (10,632), Boone (1,740), Braxton (837), Brooke (2,061), Cabell (8,385), Calhoun (243), Clay (389), Doddridge (514), Fayette (2,981), Gilmer (730), Grant (1,167), Greenbrier (2,498), Hampshire (1,609), Hancock (2,630), Hardy (1,391), Harrison (5,144), Jackson (1,775), Jefferson (4,009), Kanawha (13,045), Lewis (1,099), Lincoln (1,355), Logan (2,935), Marion (3,924), Marshall (3,171), Mason (1,868), McDowell (1,411), Mercer (4,385), Mineral (2,640), Mingo (2,301), Monongalia (8,633), Monroe (1,015), Morgan (1,007), Nicholas (1,378), Ohio (3,833), Pendleton (666), Pleasants (817), Pocahontas (616), Preston (2,714), Putnam (4,542), Raleigh (5,494), Randolph (2,462), Ritchie (639), Roane (523), Summers (725), Taylor (1,149), Tucker (516), Tyler (657), Upshur (1,780), Wayne (2,741), Webster (442), Wetzel (1,165), Wirt (368), Wood (7,438), Wyoming (1,823).

Delays may be experienced with the reporting of information from the local health department to DHHR. As case surveillance continues at the local health department level, it may reveal that those tested in a certain county may not be a resident of that county, or even the state as an individual in question may have crossed the state border to be tested. Such is the case of Barbour, Pleasants and Tucker counties in this report.

West Virginians may pre-register for their COVID-19 vaccination at vaccinate.wv.gov. The COVID-19 dashboard located at www.coronavirus.wv.gov shows the total number of vaccines administered. Please see the vaccine summary tab for more detailed information. 

Free COVID-19 testing is available today in Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Clay, Fayette, Grant, Hardy, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, Mason, Mineral, Mingo, Morgan, Nicholas, Putnam, Raleigh and Wyoming counties.

March 30

Barbour County

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Barbour County Health Department, 109 Wabash Avenue, Philippi, WV 

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Junior Volunteer Fire Department, 331 Row Avenue, Junior, WV 

Berkeley County 

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Shenandoah Community Health, 99 Tavern Road, Martinsburg, WV

4:30 PM – 8:00 PM, Dorothy McCormack Building, 2000 Foundation Way, Martinsburg, WV 

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, 891 Auto Parts Place, Martinsburg, WV

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Ambrose Park, 25404 Mall Drive, Martinsburg, WV

Boone County

Brooke County

Clay County

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Clay County Health Department, 452 Main Street, Clay, WV

Fayette County

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Fayette County Health Department, 202 Church Street, Fayetteville, WV

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Ruby Welcome Center, 55 Hazel Lane, Mount Hope, WV

Grant County

Hardy County

Jefferson County

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Hollywood Casino, 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, WV 

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Shepherd University Wellness Center Parking Lot, 164 University Drive, Shepherdstown, WV

Lincoln County

Logan County

Mason County

Mineral County

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Mineral County Health Department, 541 Harley O Staggers Drive, Keyser, WV

Mingo County

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, Kermit Fire Department, 49 Main Street, Kermit, WV

Morgan County

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Valley Health War Memorial Hospital, 1 Health Way, Berkeley Spring, WV

Nicholas County

Putnam County

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, Liberty Square, 613 Putnam Village, Hurricane, WV

Raleigh County

Wyoming County

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Wyoming County Fire Department, 12 Park Street, Pineville, WV

Monoclonal Antibody Treatments Continue to Help Reduce COVID-19 Hospitalizations – SCDHEC

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 29, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C. — In South Carolina, hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have begun to decline, in part because of the purposeful prioritization of high-risk individuals in the state’s vaccination plan, as well as the success of the state’s monoclonal antibody program.

While monoclonal antibody treatments are currently only approved for emergency use, data shows they help reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits due to COVID-19. State health officials estimate that well over 1,000 hospital admissions have been avoided and more than 100 COVID-19-related deaths have been prevented in South Carolina due to monoclonal antibody treatments. 

Monoclonal antibodies are a type of treatment doctors have been using for COVID-19 patients since November 2020, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued Emergency Use Authorizations for two types of monoclonal antibody treatments: bamlanivimab and casirivimab plus imdevimab. These antibodies work by directly blocking the effect of the COVID-19 virus in patients that are already infected. More than 9,500 South Carolinians have received monoclonal antibody treatments.

“Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-designed antibodies that can detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is the virus that causes COVID-19, and can help your immune system get rid of it,” said Dr. Jonathan Knoche, DHEC’s immunization medical consultant. “Health care providers typically use these treatments for patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms but who are at high risk for developing severe complications from the virus.”

While the federal government recently announced it was suspending the distribution of bamlanivimab because COVID-19 variants were resistant to bamlanivimab alone, other monoclonal antibody treatments are showing effectiveness against variant strains of the virus. Public health officials in this country around the world are continuing to learn more about recently identified COVID-19 variants. 

“Even as more and more people are receiving their COVID-19 vaccines, monoclonal antibody treatments are still an important treatment option, especially as variants become more prevalent,” said Dr. Rick Foster, DHEC Public Health Consultant. “We are continuing to actively support existing monoclonal antibody treatment sites and we’re working to add more sites across the state that offer this outpatient infusion therapy. This treatment has been very effective in reducing risk for more severe illness and hospitalization in high risk patients with symptomatic COVID-19.” 

Doctors determine whether a monoclonal antibody treatment is appropriate for a patient after the patient is first diagnosed with COVID-19. The sooner a high-risk individual who has tested positive begins receiving the treatment, the more successful it is in reducing the patient’s symptoms from COVID-19. 

Recently, a private pediatric practice in Charleston County treated two high-risk adolescent COVID-19 patients with monoclonal antibodies. Because current COVID-19 vaccines aren’t recommended for anyone under the age of 16, monoclonal antibody treatment is an essential resource in treating high-risk children and teenagers who can’t protect themselves by way of vaccination.

The treatment is a single-dose IV infusion, meaning the patient receives their full dose of the antibody treatment in one sitting.

DHEC is working with partners to expand the number of monoclonal antibody infusion locations in the state, and the agency is also reaching out to providers that offer home infusions to expand this treatment, at a doctor’s recommendation, to homebound individuals. DHEC maintains a map of locations currently offering this treatment, and has developed a web-based application to assist in the screening and timely referral of  patients that are eligible for this treatment. However, it’s important to remember that monoclonal antibody treatment must be recommended by a healthcare professional; an individual can’t simply show up at one of these locations without a referral.

A health care location interested in becoming a monoclonal antibody infusion site should contact covid19drug@dhec.sc.gov.

For the latest COVID-19 information, visit scdhec.gov/COVID19.

###

COVID-19 Daily Update 3-28-2021 – West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

The West
Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
(DHHR) reports
as of March 28, 2021, there have been 2,422,755
total confirmatory laboratory results received
for COVID-19, with 140,613 total cases and 2,634 total deaths.

 

DHHR has confirmed the deaths of a 75-year old male from Kanawha
County, a 74-year old female from Putnam County, and a 71-year old female from
Logan County.

“As
many of us are ready for COVID-19 to go away, we must realize it is still spreading
in our communities,” said Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary. “Please
continue prevention efforts to combat this horrible virus and join with me in
extending our condolences to these families.”

 

CASES PER
COUNTY
: Barbour (1,313), Berkeley
(10,568), Boone (1,734), Braxton (833), Brooke (2,060), Cabell (8,359), Calhoun
(242), Clay (388), Doddridge (512), Fayette (2,953), Gilmer (728), Grant
(1,163), Greenbrier (2,485), Hampshire (1,604), Hancock (2,627), Hardy (1,381),
Harrison (5,115), Jackson (1,764), Jefferson (3,963), Kanawha (12,944), Lewis
(1,093), Lincoln (1,351), Logan (2,930), Marion (3,896), Marshall (3,167),
Mason (1,859), McDowell (1,407), Mercer (4,372), Mineral (2,632), Mingo
(2,292), Monongalia (8,612), Monroe (1,011), Morgan (1,004), Nicholas (1,369),
Ohio (3,813), Pendleton (659), Pleasants (819), Pocahontas (615), Preston
(2,701), Putnam (4,506), Raleigh (5,411), Randolph (2,449), Ritchie (639),
Roane (520), Summers (723), Taylor (1,143), Tucker (516), Tyler (657), Upshur
(1,770), Wayne (2,737), Webster (441), Wetzel (1,158), Wirt (368), Wood
(7,422), Wyoming (1,814).

Delays may
be experienced with the reporting of information from the local health
department to DHHR. As case surveillance continues at the local health
department level, it may reveal that those tested in a certain county may not
be a resident of that county, or even the state as an individual in question
may have crossed the state border to be tested
.

 

West Virginians may pre-register for their COVID-19
vaccination at
vaccinate.wv.gov. The COVID-19 dashboard located at www.coronavirus.wv.gov shows the total number of vaccines administered.
Please see the vaccine summary tab for more detailed information.

 

Free COVID-19 testing is available today
in Doddridge, Nicholas, and Webster counties:

Doddridge
County


10:00 AM –
6:00 PM, Doddridge County Park, The Barn, 1252 Snowbird Road S., West Union, WV

Nicholas County

12:00 PM – 3:00 PM, Richwood City Hall, 6
White Avenue, Richwood, WV
(pre-registration: https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Webster
County
12:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Hacker Valley Elementary School, 60
School Loop Road, Hacker Valley, WV
(pre-registration:
https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

 

Monday, March 29 testing events:

Berkeley County
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, 891 Auto Parts Place, Martinsburg, WV


10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Ambrose Park, 25404 Mall Drive, Martinsburg, WV

Barbour County

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, Barbour County Health Department, 109
Wabash Avenue, Philippi, WV

1:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Junior Volunteer Fire Department, 331
Row Avenue, Junior, WV

Boone County
12:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Boone County
Health Department, 213 Kenmore Dr., Danville, WV

Jefferson County
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Hollywood
Casino, 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, WV

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Shepherd University Wellness Center
Parking Lot, 164 University Drive, Shepherdstown, WV

Lincoln County

9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, Lincoln County Health Department, 8008 Court
Avenue, Hamlin, WV (pre-registration:
https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Marshall County

11:00 AM – 3:00 PM,
Marshall County Health Department, 513 6
th Street, Moundsville, WV (pre-registration:
https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Mineral County

10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, Mineral County Health Department, 541
Harley O Staggers Drive, Keyser, WV

Monongalia County

9:00 AM – 11:00 AM, WVU Recreation Center, Lower Level,
2001 Rec Center Drive, Morgantown, WV

Nicholas County

3:00 PM – 7:00 PM, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church,
18001 West Webster Road, Craigsville, WV
(pre-registration:
https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Ohio County

11:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Wheeling Island Fire Station #5, 11
North Wabash Street, Wheeling, WV

Pendleton County

11:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Pendleton County Health Department,
273 Mill Road, Franklin, WV
(pre-registration:
https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Preston County

4:00 PM – 5:30 PM, Terra Alta EMS, 1124 East State
Avenue, Terra Alta, WV
(pre-registration:
https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Raleigh County

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Beckley-Raleigh County Health Department, 1602
Harper Road, Beckley, WV (pre-registration:
https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/)

Wayne County

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM, Wayne Community Center, 11580 Route 152, Wayne, WV

 

For more testing opportunities, including
pharmacy testing, visit
https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/pages/testing.aspx.

Comparing the COVID-19 vaccines – USA TODAY

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorizations for three COVID-19 vaccines so far. We compare the different available shots, and several still in the approval process for use in the Untied States.

Which vaccines are approved already?

The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been available to Americans since December.

A vaccine developed by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson company, was authorized in late February.

AstraZeneca, working in collaboration with Oxford University, is expected to request authorization from the FDA for their vaccine within a few weeks, and Novavax is expected to follow with its application later in April or May.

What technology does each vaccine use?

Many vaccines use weakened or inactivated versions or components of the disease-causing pathogen to stimulate the body’s immune response. However, the vaccines developed by PfizerBioNTech and Moderna take advantage of messenger RNA (mRNA), which instructs cells to produce a protein on the surface of the virus. The immune system recognizes those vaccine-triggered spike proteins as invaders and creates antibodies to block future attacks of the virus that causes COVID-19. 

More: How mRNA vaccines work

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine takes the more traditional approach. Adenoviruses are common viruses that typically cause colds or flulike symptoms. The J&J team used a modified adenovirus that can enter cells but can’t replicate inside them or cause illness. The vaccine contains this modified virus that delivers a spike protein, activating the immune system.

The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine also uses an adenovirus, in this case a monkey virus that the human immune system doesn’t recognize. It delivers the gene that encodes the spike protein to human cells rather than the protein itself.

Novavax’s vaccine works by delivering lab-grown spike proteins along with a compound that attracts immune cells to the site of the injection.

Where is each vaccine developed?

Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax are all US-based companies. The J&J vaccine was developed by researchers at Harvard University and in Leiden, Netherlands. Moderna, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, developed its vaccine in collaboration with U.S. government scientists. The AstraZeneca vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford and its spin-off company, Vaccitech. BioNTech, a biotechnology company based in Mainz, Germany, partnered with Pfizer to test and produce its vaccine. 

How many shots do I need to get?

All the vaccines except the one from Johnson & Johnson require two shots to train the immune system well enough to fight the coronavirus.

After one dose of the Pfizer vaccine, for example, its effectiveness against illness reached up to 52% after 12 days, and up to 95% a week after the second dose, according to a study. That’s why it’s important for people who have received only one dose to keep practicing the usual precautions, like wearing a mask and maintaining social distance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests getting the second shot as close to the recommended dose schedule as possible, but not earlier. 

The J&J vaccine is a one-dose vaccine. However, the company is also testing a two-dose regimen, with the two shots given eight weeks apart.

How much do vaccines cost per dose?

Moderna and PfizerBioNTech so far have been selling the majority of their doses to high-income countries, including the U.S., Canada and the European Union. These are also the most expensive vaccines. 

AstraZeneca-Oxford has the cheapest of the five vaccines. The company has committed not to profit from it while the pandemic lasts. 

There have been reports of different prices being paid by governments in different parts of the world.

How much has the U.S. spent on each?

Overall, the U.S. government has made vaccine deals totaling more than $9 billion with multiple private companies, but the deals vary in size.  

The pharmaceutical giant Merck will also receive $105 million from the government to help produce the J&J vaccine.

How many doses of each will the U.S. get?

President Joe Biden said in March that the U.S. will have enough vaccines for every adult in the U.S. by the end of May. The main challenge will now be to distribute the doses and to convince hesitant people to take them.

Do we have enough vaccine to go around?

The U.S. has purchased over 1 billion doses of vaccine for a population of 330 million.

According to a ONE’s Policy team study, the world’s richest countries have collectively  bought 1 billion more doses than their citizens need. The rest of the world has been able to secure only 2.5 billion doses – not enough to vaccinate their populations.

The excess doses purchased by rich countries alone would be sufficient to vaccinate the entire adult population of Africa. In many developing countries, widespread vaccination coverage might not be achieved before 2023, unless countries like the U.S. share their surplus.

Do temperature and storage requirements differ between vaccines?

The mRNA vaccines from PfizerBioNTech and Moderna require a complicated cold chain to safely distribute them. During each part of the process, the vaccine boxes must be kept at exactly the right temperature. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be used within five days after the transfer to refrigerator. Moderna vaccine can last in the refrigerator for a month and the J&J vaccine can be stored in the refrigerator for at least 3 months.

More: How coronavirus vaccines will be shipped and distributed using ‘cold chain’ technologies

The Novavax and AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccines can be stored in normal refrigerators for up to six months.

What about safety and side effects?

Serious side effects, allergic reactions or adverse incidents stemming from the vaccines are rare, though in clinical trials, mild to moderate side effects were common. The most common complaints were pain at the injection site, fatigue and aching muscles and joints. People with a history of anaphylaxis or severe allergic reactions should inform health professionals before they are vaccinated, and anyone with an allergy to one of the vaccine’s ingredients should consult a healthcare provider before getting vaccinated.

Do some vaccines work better than others?

Public health experts emphasize that all the vaccines are effective, particularly at preventing serious disease.

Because trials were conducted differently at different times, effectiveness figures cannot be directly compared.

In its large-scale trial, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was shown to prevent 95% of symptomatic COVID-19, just 1 percentage point more than Moderna’s. Both vaccines appear to be equally protective across age groups and racial and ethnic groups. 

The J&J vaccine was shown to be 72% effective in moderate to severe disease and 85% effective in preventing the most severe disease. 

AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was 76% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 two weeks after the second dose and was 100% effective in stopping severe disease and hospitalization in a U.S.-based clinical trial, according to the company.

In a trial in the U.K., two doses of the Novavax vaccine were shown to be nearly 90% effective against symptomatic COVID-19, though just 50% effective in a smaller South African trial.

What do we still need to know?

It remains unclear how long any of these vaccines will continue to protect people. While the small number of early trial participants have maintained levels of protective antibodies for nearly a year, companies will continue to follow volunteers for two years to see if their immunity begins to wane. Periodic booster shots to extend immunity and/or protect against new variants of the virus might be needed.

And although a growing body of research suggests that vaccines will also protect people from passing on the virus – even if they don’t have symptoms – that remains to be confirmed.

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