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COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in Hardy County, causing concern from health officials

MOOREFIELD, W.Va. — COVID-19 cases in Hardy County continue to climb following the turn of the calendar and local health officials are attributing the rise to gatherings over the holidays.

More than 230 new COVID-19 cases and seven COVID-19 related deaths have been reported in the county since January 1.

“It is the fallout from Christmas and New Years, people getting together and I don’t want to say they didn’t follow the guidelines but sometimes we think our family members are the safest place for us to be so we let our guard down,” Hardy County Health Department Administrator Bill Ours said.

“And then a family member who is asymptomatic or doesn’t know they have the virus goes and gathers with the family and the next thing you know we have seven, eight, nine cases popping up.”

Ours said the health department is doing all they can. He asked citizens to continue wearing masks, use hand sanitizer, social distance, and get the vaccine when it is their time. However, he admitted to being concerned as the numbers rise.

“I am very concerned from a couple of different aspects but from the health department aspect, we have been given the additional task of vaccinating people now,” Ours said.

“When you go to getting 25 new cases a day and you have to do the contact tracing and reach out to all the positive people and then you have to try to vaccine 100 people a day and the task is enormous for the employees of the health department. Because we are tired, we are mentally and physically exhausted because it has been a long nine months.”

Ours added that he and his staff, front line workers, and those in the community 80 years of age and older have been getting the vaccine since its arrival in December. He said it’s a good feeling to see so many community members wanting the vaccine.

“It is an absolutely amazing feeling,” he said. “I wish we had it about three weeks older because we could have saved a couple of people in the nursing home I believe if we had it just a little bit earlier. But just knowing we can get shots in arms and start giving our community some type of protection against this virus it is an amazing feeling that is why we do what we do.”