Hampshire County’s alarming increase in Covid cases doubled last week.

The Health Department reported Monday that the county had 255 new cases diagnosed in the previous 7 days and 188 were active.

That’s up from 88 active a week earlier.

“Please be patient with us,” the Health Department asked, noting the huge new load of contact tracing.

Young people continue to make up a big chunk of the cases here. The DHHR’s website on Monday reported 17 cases among 5- to 11-year-olds and 44 total cases for people 20 or younger.

In the schools, 7th grade at Romney Middle and 4th and a pre-k class at Romney Elementary are virtual, quarantining due to Covid exposure, and they won’t return until Monday. The 6th grade class at RMS that was out last week is back in the classroom.

“We’re still doing the mitigation strategies, cleaning, wiping doors and surfaces,” explained Superintendent Jeff Pancione. “We’re also trying to get kids outside.”

He added that students are able to have maskless breaks throughout their school day, and the concept of “required masks” doesn't mean that students have their faces covered for 6 to 8 hours daily.

“Teachers can take them on 5, 10-minute breaks,” he pointed out. “We’re trying to give them as many breaks as possible.”

Up at the high school, more spaces are being allotted for outdoor classrooms on the campus, providing students with ample opportunity to head outside and take a break from wearing masks.

The overall surge here parallels the rise across West Virginia.

The state set a 1-day record for new cases last Thursday and broke it Saturday.

Thursday also saw a 1-day record in intensive-care cases and those on ventilators.

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