FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — Two years into a continuing pandemic, local counties continue to see a rise in cases, causing concern for local health departments and hospitals.

In Fayette County cases are rising rapidly, according to the county health department. County Health Officer Dr. Anita Stewart, said they continue to have a record number of cases throughout the past week.

More than five hundred and fifty cases in the seven days resulted in a record high week for the county. Dr. Stewart said this is not unlike what is happening across southern West Virginia.

“Fayette County is no different than any other southern county, we are all seeing rapid rises and doing our best to contain that, and the main reason is to try and mitigate the stress on the health care systems,” said Dr. Stewart.

Dr. Stewart believes after two years into the pandemic, there is a sense of complacency as many people, including herself, are tired of COVID-19. However, she also adds if we want to be out of the woods, we have to be willing to do our part

“In studies, we know that it can reduce the risk of spread by 53 percent so if we could increase mask-wearing I think it would make a difference here and it would definitely reduce the stress on our health care system by slowing the spread,” said Dr. Stewart.

Keeping people out of the hospital is the main concern for Dr. Stewart, but she also spoke about the need to ensure people are not terrified to leave their homes. She said for people who aren’t concerned about their health, they should take a step further and think about those who are immunocompromised.

“You need to protect your community, I mean there are truly sick people and elderly people, that need to get out and go to the store and so forth so if you wear your mask you are protecting yourself and other people,” said Christina Fletcher, who was getting tested.