CHARLESTON — During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice reported that continued spread of the Omicron variant has caused West Virginia’s case numbers to rise over 21,000 and COVID-related hospitalizations once again nearing 1,000, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
Additionally, with 49 of the state’s 55 counties now designated in the Red category of the West Virginia County Alert System map, Gov. Justice once again urged all citizens to be sure they are up-to-date on their shots.
“The way you can ensure the best possible outcome for yourself is to get vaccinated and boosted,” Gov. Justice said. “If you got your initial series of shots over five or six months ago, and you haven’t gotten your booster, you don’t have any immunity. It’s like you never got vaccinated in the first place.”
Booster shots are now authorized and encouraged for all West Virginians ages 12 and older. COVID-19 booster shots are available, for free, to all eligible West Virginians. The waiting period for those who received initial series Pfizer shots has been shortened to five months.
West Virginians can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with their vaccination card to receive their booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
Initial series vaccinations are available, for free, for everyone ages 5 and older.
West Virginians interested in being vaccinated or having their children vaccinated are encouraged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965.
Additionally, Gov. Justice provided another update on the West Virginia National Guard’s mission to provide staffing support to hospitals throughout the state.
As of Monday morning, 136 Guard members have been authorized to deploy to 25 facilities across West Virginia.
“Our National Guard is doing terrific work backstopping our hospitals,” Gov. Justice said. “We thank them over and over in every way.”
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reported that the federal government is now offering three free N95 masks per American.
The masks will be made available later this week or next week at pharmacies and community health centers.
Meanwhile, the Governor offered a reminder that the federal government is also offering every household in America four free at-home COVID-19 tests.
To get your free at-home COVID tests, visit COVIDtests.gov. (OVP Editor’s note: Households can call 800-232-0233 to request up to four free tests.)
Gov. Justice once again offered a reminder that he will deliver his sixth State of the State address on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m.
The Governor was previously scheduled to deliver his State of the State address on Jan. 12. However, the night before the address, he tested positive for COVID-19 and announced that he would have to postpone the address to a later date.
The address will be broadcast live on the West Virginia Public Broadcasting Channel. Audio from the address will be broadcast live on West Virginia Public Radio.
The address will also be livestreamed on the Governor’s social media channels including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.