The COVID-19 omicron variant continues to spread at a rapid pace throughout Putnam County and the state of West Virginia causing a concerning spike in positive cases.
As of Tuesday, January 18, 2022, county officials reported 612 active cases.
“Putnam County is seeing case numbers higher than we have ever seen in the last two years,” says Putnam County Health Officer Dr. Michael Robie, DO. “We continue to encourage vaccination and masking, but one of the most important things you can do right now to stop the spread of this virus is to get tested and stay home when you feel sick.”
Current studies from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that individuals infected with Coronavirus are most contagious in the one to two days before they show symptoms and the two to three days after. The omicron variant in particular is highly transmissible, meaning it spreads easier and faster than other studied strains of the virus.
For this reason, community members who may be experiencing even mild symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested as soon as possible and isolate until they receive their test results.
“Even though omicron infection is not causing as many cases of severe illness like we’ve seen with other variants, people are still getting sick enough that they require medical attention, and now, in larger volumes than ever before,” explains Dr. Robie. “Healthcare providers are feeling the impacts of omicron; it’s critical that community members listen to health experts and do their part to stop the spread.”
To prevent widespread infection, Putnam County Health Department encourages all community members to:
- Get vaccinated and boosted, if eligible.
- Wear a mask in public.
- Get tested when sick or exposed.
- Follow quarantine and isolation protocols.
Putnam County Health Department, in partnership with Putnam County EMS, provides free COVID-19 PCR testing Monday – Friday, as well as vaccination services for adults and children ages five and older.
Details about upcoming COVID-19 events can be found here or by calling (304) 757-2541.