DELTA VARIANT SPREADING IN WV - Calhoun Tests Handful Wednesday, One Third Calhoun Residents Fully Vaccinated

(WCHS) — Efforts are underway statewide to step up COVID-19 testing efforts as the Delta variant moves through at least 35 counties in West Virginia.

Four hours into Wednesday’s testing event in Calhoun County and officials were seeing similar results as other counties in recent testing events -- three tests.

The state has done more than three million tests since the start of the pandemic. Without them, it’s difficult to get an accurate picture of what’s going on in West Virginia.

The numbers that the state does have are not good. More than 450 new cases were reported statewide on Wednesday.

The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department asked for additional testing in a county where 74% of those 61 and older got at least one shot, but only about one-third of Calhoum county residents are fully vaccinated.

“We are working with the health departments now. There's been some health departments that will start doing that,” state health officer Dr. Ayne Amjad said. “We're also still working with our joint interagency task force to set those up. Some health departments are working on re-staffing. We are going to start doing that -- ramping up testing across the state.”

Officials said expanded testing could provide a better picture of the Delta variant threat in rural West Virginia.