Governor discusses ‘rapid’ increase of COVID cases

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice reported that the total number of active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia has now reached 3,372; nearly four times the number of active cases seen throughout the state less than a month ago.

“We’re starting to see a more rapid increase,” Gov. Justice said. “There needs to be more and more concern about getting yourself vaccinated because we’re running out of time.”

According to a news release from the governor’s office, hospitalizations for COVID-19 are also climbing.

The number of active hospitalizations in West Virginia is now 210, up from 185 as of the Governor’s previous briefing on Wednesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 32.4% are in the ICU.

Gov. Justice also reported that West Virginia now has five counties in the Red category of the County Alert System map: Cabell, Marshall, Upshur, Wetzel, and Wyoming counties.

The map also now features 12 Orange counties, six Gold counties, and 13 Yellow counties (including Mason County); meaning that 36 of the state’s 55 counties are now above the Green category.

Gov. Justice went on to report that there are now 129 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant that have been identified in 32 counties across the state.

“With all the risks that are out there, you need to move today,” Gov. Justice said. “We all know how to stop it. All we’ve got to do is get vaccinated.

“But it will only get worse if we don’t really aggressively run and get vaccinated today,” Gov. Justice continued.

Gov. Justice provided a reminder to all West Virginians that the deadline to register for the final prize drawing in the “Do it for Babydog” Vaccination Sweepstakes is Sunday, Aug. 8, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The final round of prizes for vaccinated West Virginians ages 18 and older include:

One grand prize of $1.588 million;

One second place prize of $588,000;

Two brand-new custom-outfitted trucks;

Five lifetime hunting licenses;

Five lifetime fishing licenses;

Five custom hunting rifles;

Five custom hunting shotguns;

25 weekend getaways to West Virginia State Parks.

Additionally, two vaccinated West Virginians ages 12-25 will win a full four-year scholarship to any public institution in the state.

The final round of prizes will be awarded on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

The final giveaway was originally scheduled to take place earlier this week. But, with demand for vaccines increasing in response to the increased threat of the Delta variant, Gov. Justice announced that he would be extending the program.

Just since Wednesday, another 3,000 vaccine doses have been administered statewide.

All West Virginians who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to register for the sweepstakes.

Over 381,000 West Virginians have registered for the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” Vaccination Sweepstakes to date.

Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.

Staff Report