CHARLESTON — During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced West Virginia has now surpassed 6,000 COVID-19-related deaths.
“It’s surely not something that we wanted to achieve, but the reality is what it is,” Gov. Justice said. “I ask for your prayers for everyone that we’ve lost.
“It’s just a sad, sad situation,” Gov. Justice continued. “It really rips my heart out. I just hate it.”
However, Gov. Justice also expressed cautious optimism about West Virginia’s improving COVID case numbers, according to a news release from his office.
The total number of active cases statewide have reportedly dropped by two-thirds in just the past three weeks.
Meanwhile, the number of active hospitalizations have also “decreased dramatically of late,” according to the news release. Since peaking at 1,097 on Feb. 2, the number of hospitalizations is now 779; down by 318 (29%) over the past 12 days.
To date, 326 West Virginia National Guard members have been authorized to deploy to 36 medical facilities across the state as part of the WVNG’s mission to provide staffing support to West Virginia hospitals.
COVID-19 booster shots are now authorized and encouraged for all West Virginians ages 12 and older.
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. Read more about booster eligibility at CDC.gov.
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 remain available for free for all West Virginians 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.
“I continue to remind everybody about just how important it is for you to get your booster shot,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s so important. If you happen to catch COVID, it will help keep you out of the hospital.
“I do not understand how you can walk away from the booster shot if you got the initial vaccination,” Gov. Justice added. “It is absolutely a terrible choice, especially if you’re 50 and above.”
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.