This afternoon, Tuesday, March 17th, 2020, West Virginia confirmed its first case of COVID-19. According to U.S. Senator Joe Manchin only 84 coronavirus tests have been conducted in his state, leaving it impossible to determine who is infected and who needs treatment. Manchin said he is extremely worried, due to the lack of testing, ventilators, and respirators, that his population has the potential to be devastated. In addition to 720,000 elderly, there are over 220,000 critically ill West Virginia residents under the age of 60, leaving over a million people in the high risk group for the virus.
In response to declining the test requests by some state residents the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources issued a statement on Monday:
“Currently, COVID-19 testing is used in accordance with guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”
Senator Manchin has asked Vice President Mike Pence to increase the testing capabilities for his state.
Read more at CNN.