No new guidance when it comes to large-crowd gatherings in Mountain State

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Active cases are dropping in West Virginia, but hospitalizations and ICU admissions are now reaching their peak in the pandemic.

West Virginia saw a new record high for total hospitalizations today reaching exactly 1,000. So it leaves the question, what is the future for large-crowd gatherings in the coming weeks?

Active coronavirus cases have dropped by more than 14,000 since last week, however, there is still only one county in the green on the state’s color-coded map. “And maybe this is like a stock move where we have one big slash up and you may have a little teeny pause and a little teeny click down and it may go up more,” said Governor Jim Justice in his coronavirus briefing.

Hospitalizations are at an all-time high with 278 patients in the ICU and 160 of them on a ventilator. With college football and new announcements of the Mountain State Cup Soccer Tournament coming to Shawnee Sports Complex in November, there is still no new guidance when it comes to large-crowd events.

“I don’t believe that mandates would help us at all at this time. I do believe that we need to be smart and be safe,” said Justice.

The soccer tournament is estimated to bring in 150 teams from multiple states. “We can do testing here, we can do vaccines here. So if people want to come here and they want to get tested, they can do that. If they want to get a vaccine, we’re going to have them available. So I don’t care if you’re from Virginia or North Carolina it doesn’t matter to me. Covid doesn’t care where our state line is,” said Kanawha County Commissioner Ben Salango.

As far as schools go, there are currently 90 school outbreaks in 33 counties with 921 confirmed cases. But Governor Justice says we have to continue with life as normal as possible. “But from the standpoint of shutting down our way of life and everything, we don’t need to be doing that. At least let’s hope and pray we don’t get to that.”

For the first time since early July, West Virginia’s active case count has dropped for five consecutive days.

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