West Virginia virus cases, hospitalizations decline

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations continued to decline last week in West Virginia.

The 3,886 confirmed virus cases statewide last week were down 7% from the previous week and were the fewest cases since early November.

The number of people hospitalized for the virus was 438 on Sunday, the lowest since Nov. 21. It also marked a 46% drop from the record of 818 hospitalizations on Jan. 5.

The number of deaths last week, 129, was 10 higher than the previous week but down from the record of 206 three weeks ago.

Active cases have dropped nearly 30% since peaking at a record 29,257 cases on Jan. 10.

Republican Gov. Jim Justice gave a coronavirus briefing at noon on Monday. His administration has pushed the federal government for far more coronavirus vaccines. Officials say the state has the capacity to administer 125,000 shots a week, although it has recently only been receiving about 70,000 doses.

President Joe Biden has pledged states will been seeing a 15% bump in allocations starting this week.

West Virginia administered 56,264 total shots last week, about evenly split between people receiving first and second doses. Nearly 11% of the population has received at least one of the two doses from the vaccine developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, both of which require two shots spaced out between a few weeks.

The state has used up all of its first doses on hand and is awaiting this week’s shipment on Monday and Tuesday.