Governor updates on ICU patients, COVID cases


Staff Report



CHARLESTON — During Thursday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice announced that, although the number of COVID-19 patients in the ICU and on ventilators has held steady of late, the state’s total case count and overall hospitalization numbers have declined dramatically in recent weeks.

According to a news release from the governor’s office, since peaking at 1,097 on Feb. 2, the number of hospitalizations is now 753; down by 344 (31%) over the past 15 days.

Due to technical issues, some sections of the DHHR’s COVID-19 Dashboard had not yet been updated to reflect Thursday’s numbers at the time of the briefing. The dashboard was to be updated with the latest data as soon as possible. However, as of Tuesday, there were 5,271 active cases of COVID-19 statewide.

The number of active cases has dropped by approximately 75% in just the past three weeks.

Yesterday’s West Virginia County Alert Map also showed continued improvement as follows:

Red (0) | Orange (2) | Gold (15) | Yellow (23) | Green (15)

Despite the improving case numbers, Gov. Justice read 123 new COVID-related deaths during Thursday’s briefing, underscoring the continued importance of getting vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

“The most important thing on my list is that if you are fully vaccinated, we have got you to get the booster, especially if you are over the age of 50,” Gov. Justice said.

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.

Gov. Justice also announced that he signed Executive Order 1-22 yesterday, officially terminating Executive Order 11-21.

Issued in March 2021, Executive Order 11-21 suspended certain statutory provisions related to requiring the Commissioner of Workforce West Virginia to collect non-fraudulent unemployment overpayments, including those distributed with federal grant monies intended to address employment relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, nearly 11 months later, it is now appropriate to reinstate these statutory provisions.

Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.

Staff Report