TWO VIRGINIAS (WVVA) -- The predicted fall surge of COVID-19 cases is no longer a prediction, it is a reality when you look at the latest data from Johns Hopkins University. As of Tuesday, there are roughly 38 states seeing an upward trend in cases across the country, and the Two Virginias are in that mix.
The latest data shows the number of new cases in the United States have risen to nearly 60,000 per day, the highest infection rate since late July.
WVVA spoke with Mercer County Health Officer Doctor Steven Stefancic to understand why virus transmission is so common during the fall and winter months.
"Part of that is because when it gets cold, people come from outdoor activities into indoor activities. Which means there is closer proximity. People are touching more things in the house. Sitting close together, with sneezing and coughing"Dr. Steven Stefancic, Mercer County Health Officer
We are seeing an increase locally, with every county in our market area experiencing an increase in active cases. Wyoming County becoming the only red county on West Virginia's school alert system Monday.
Mercer County took a hit Tuesday. Four schools there are reporting COVID-19 outbreaks, prompting Superintendent Deborah Akers to release the statement above, that all Mercer County Schools will resort to remote instruction.
Dr. Stefancic urges residents to be vigilant and follow the guidelines to decrease the spread of the virus.
"If you have symptoms or exposures, please get tested. Please continue to wear your mask depending on what industry you may be involved with whether it is continual public contact, whether it is a position that requires isolation anyway. Like for example working at desk or everyday life. If you can get your distance from a person, it is more likely that you will remain healthy and safe."Dr. Steven Stefancic, Mercer County Health Officer
With no end in sight, seasonal activities like Halloween, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas are closing in - and there is still no timetable on when we will have a vaccine.