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HUNTINGTON — Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 have been increasing in the region in recent days, with Ohio seeing a record number of patients this week.

Ohio’s hospitals saw their highest number of patients with COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March. Data from the Ohio Hospital Association shows that 1,122 COVID-19-positive patients were being treated in Ohio’s hospitals as of Tuesday, of which 348 were in ICUs and 174 were on ventilators. The previous high was in late April when the state saw 1,103 COVID-19-positive patients, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

“Our case numbers have remained high during the past month. We know there is a lag between when people are infected with the virus and when they start to feel sick and ultimately are hospitalized,” said Lance D. Himes, interim director of the Ohio Department of Health, in a release Wednesday. “Ohioans have worked hard to slow the spread of this disease. However, these numbers are a stark reminder that this virus is very much still with us.”

In West Virginia, hospitalizations have increased since the beginning of July. As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, there were 98 COVID-19-positive patients hospitalized, with 40 in ICUs and 13 on vents.

Gov. Jim Justice said the state’s hospitals weren’t near capacity yet, but they were monitoring the situation. He said he was hopeful the mask mandate would help bring the numbers back down.

Dr. Ayne Amjad, state health officer, said hospitals report to the state when they are nearing capacity, and they can respond by diverting patients to other hospitals.

She said the increases should not discourage anyone from seeking medical attention at a hospital as hospitals have been taking the proper measures to keep all patients safe, such as limiting visitation and requiring all to wear masks.

There were 153 new positive cases of COVID-19 reported statewide Wednesday, and the 112th death was reported: a 74-year-old woman from Mercer County.

Total cases per county (case confirmed by lab test/probable case) are: Barbour (29/0), Berkeley (609/22), Boone (69/0), Braxton (8/0), Brooke (53/1), Cabell (288/9), Calhoun (6/0), Clay (17/0), Doddridge (4/0), Fayette (124/0), Gilmer (14/0), Grant (65/1), Greenbrier (83/0), Hampshire (68/0), Hancock (89/3), Hardy (51/1), Harrison (175/1), Jackson (157/0), Jefferson (280/5), Kanawha (716/13), Lewis (24/1), Lincoln (54/2), Logan (106/0), Marion (163/4), Marshall (116/2), Mason (45/0), McDowell (19/1), Mercer (126/0), Mineral (100/2), Mingo (109/2), Monongalia (850/16), Monroe (18/1), Morgan (24/1), Nicholas (28/1), Ohio (243/0), Pendleton (35/1), Pleasants (6/1), Pocahontas (40/1), Preston (97/22), Putnam (146/1), Raleigh (148/5), Randolph (203/3), Ritchie (3/0), Roane (14/0), Summers (5/0), Taylor (42/1), Tucker (9/0), Tyler (11/0), Upshur (36/2), Wayne (176/2), Webster (3/0), Wetzel (40/0), Wirt (6/0), Wood (219/11) and Wyoming (18/0).

The Cabell-Huntington Health Department reported 117 of the 288 cases are active.

In Ohio, the Lawrence County Health Department reported five new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, with patients’ ages ranging between 20 and 66. Two of the county’s 85 active cases are hospitalized, with one in the ICU.

Statewide, 1,396 new cases and 40 new deaths were reported.

Kentucky continues to see record high daily increases, with 619 reported Wednesday — 17 of those cases being children under 5. Gov. Andy Beshear said there was consistency in the numbers this week, which could be an indicator things were stabilizing thanks to the mask mandate.

There were also five new deaths reported Wednesday, and 517 people were hospitalized, with 112 in ICUs. The state does not report those on ventilators.

The Ashland-Boyd County Health Department reported four new positive cases: 72-, 25- and 38-year-old women and a 20-year-old man, all isolating at home. There are 43 active cases in the county.

Nearly 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the U.S. on Wednesday, for a total of 4,339,997, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There have been 148,866 deaths related to the virus.

Follow reporter Taylor Stuck on Twitter and Facebook @TaylorStuckHD.

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