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November ends with COVID-19 records shattered in West Virginia

Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 5:19 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - It’s been a month that set record after record in West Virginia and the U.S.

November has seen more deaths, hospitalizations, and cases than any other month during the pandemic in the state.

“All across our land, people are dropping like flies. And West Virginia is not immune,” Governor Jim Justice said Monday.

At the end of October, the state’s pandemic case total was 24,460, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources. That number nearly doubled by the end of November to 47,842.

November’s 23,382 newly reported cases were more than the last six months combined.

Active cases increased more than 200 percent during the month, surging from 5,176 at the end of October to 16,787 at the end of November.

Concerns continue to mount about the state’s hospital capacity after November saw the number of West Virginians hospitalized more than doubled since the end of October.

Last month ended with 236 people in the hospital. November finished with 597 hospitalized.

162 people are in the ICU and 76 are on ventilators as of Monday’s DHHR report. Both of those figures also more than doubled by the end of November.

Gov. Justice announced Monday that the state is reducing elective surgeries due to those capacity concerns.

“At this point and time, if truly, we’re going to be overrun with our hospitals, we need to move immediately upon that guidance to stopping elective surgeries,” Justice said.

The state reported 265 deaths in November due to COVID-19.

That’s the same number of deaths reported by health officials from the start of the pandemic through September 12th.

“This situation is really critical,” Justice said. “How many are going to die from this?”

With no signs of slowing down, officials are optimistic at the prospect of a vaccine.

Governor Justice says the first doses should arrive in mid-December.

The first round will only go to the most vulnerable populations.

For now, officials continue to stress the importance of avoiding pandemic fatigue and continuing to follow health guidelines.

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