Jackson County seeing a COVID-19 spike. Here's why.

Laura Peters
Jackson Newspapers
Can COVID-19 feel like allergies?: How to manage your seasonal allergies during the pandemic

Freelancer reporter Suzette Lowe contributed to this report. 

RIPLEY — Jackson County is seeing a slight spike in positive COVID-19 cases, according to the Jackson County Health Department. 

Amy Haskins, administrator for the Jackson County Health Department, credits the spike in cases to a people assuming it's just allergies, but turns out it's not.

According to Haskins, people are confusing seasonal allergies and COVID symptoms.

Haskins said they saw something similar in the fall due to allergies. 

"People who have regular seasonal allergies, because the symptoms are so similar ... you take for granted that you have allergies every year," she said. "Then a few days later when you lose your sense of taste and smell, you realize that it's more than just seasonal allergies."

So what can people do? Haskins says get tested. 

"We're in a pandemic. You can't take for granted that you have seasonal allergies," she said. "Nothing is normal at this point, nor has it been normal in the last year. If people find that they're getting congested ... have a scratchy sore throat, it's imperative that they go get tested."

The problem with people waiting is the more defining COVID symptoms, like losing your sense of taste and smell, don't present itself right away. 

"What happens is that four or five days later they realize that it's more than seasonal allergies but at that point they've already exposed people for at least a week," Haskins said. "At that first sign, it would be best if people would just go get tested."

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By the numbers

The county is remaining under the state's positivity rate. Jackson County's positivity rate is 3.70%, while the state's is 5.24%, according to data from the health department. 

​The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported as of April 4, there have been 2,488,126 total confirmatory laboratory results received for COVID-19, with 143,456 total cases and 2,695 total deaths.

“Spring is a time of hope and new beginnings,” Bill J. Crouch, DHHR Cabinet Secretary said in a release. “In our sadness today, we must not lose sight of the ability to move beyond the pandemic by prioritizing safety measures and vaccination.”

Here's a rundown of the local numbers, compared to the state:

  • Population of Jackson County —  28,576
  • Fully vaccinated in Jackson County — 4,452
  • Percentage of people vaccinated in Jackson County —15.6%
  • Percentage of people vaccinated in the state — 21% 
  • State's active COVID cases — 6,851                   
  • Jackson County's active COVID cases — 67

To find out where you can get tested, visit dhhr.wv.gov/covid-19/pages/testing.aspx.

The following sites are listed in Jackson County for COVID-19 testing:

Walgreens

  • Drive-Thru Pharmacy
  • 406 Washington St., Ravenswood
  • Available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Walgreens

  • Drive-Thru Pharmacy
  • 635 W Main St., Ripley
  • Available Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Fruth Rx

  • Drive-Thru Pharmacy
  • 509 South Church St., Ripley
  • Available Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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You can reach reporter Laura Peters (she/her) at lpeters@newsleader.com. Follow her @peterslaura.