MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After nearly nine months since COVID-19 outbreaks began popping up around West Virginia, WVU Medicine employees administered the first round of vaccines to residents and employees of Sundale Nursing Home in Morgantown on Tuesday.
Sundale was one of the first major outbreaks in West Virginia in March 2020. It is now one of the first long-term care facilities in West Virginia to receive the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.
“Hopefully this turns out to be very successful and the immunity lasts a long time. And it is a way to start the holiday season really very grateful,” said, Carl D. Shrader, MD. Ph.D. Family Medicine at WVU Medicine.
This is a beam of hope for high-risk individuals in the area as the virus continues to surge in the country, the state, and in Monongalia County. According to the Monongalia Health Department, on Tuesday, Monongalia County had 1,375 active COVID cases.
That’s a third of all county cases — 4,256 — since the first one was announced on March 19, MCHD officials explained.
Additionally, just in the past seven days, Monongalia County has reported 518 new cases. The state reported 34 new COVID-related deaths on Tuesday, bringing the total to 1,012, as well as a statewide daily positivity rate of 9.61%.
“We’ve been in surge mode since early November, and since Thanksgiving, it’s only getting
worse,” MCHD Executive Director and County Health Officer, Dr. Lee B. Smith explained. “We know the arrival of vaccines is an exciting development for people, who are understandably tired of this pandemic. But it’s important to remain vigilant with mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing for the foreseeable future.”