Gov. Justice once again urges West Virginians to get vaccinated as Delta variant cases continue to climb

CHARLESTON — During Thursday’s briefing, Gov. Jim Justice reported that there are now 35 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant in West Virginia, up from 22 such cases as of his previous briefing on Tuesday.

“Our Delta variant numbers are starting to jump a little bit,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re still only at 35. But if you listen to our health experts, they’ll tell you this thing’s coming. And if you get this Delta variant, it’s going to be really tough on you, so you’ve got to get vaccinated.”

The 35 Delta variant cases have been identified in 16 West Virginia counties, including Berkeley, Braxton, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Marion, McDowell, Mineral, Monongalia, Morgan, Raleigh, Webster, Wetzel, and Wyoming counties.

With Delta variant cases increasing quickly across the entire nation, the Governor and West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh once again pleaded with all West Virginians who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so as soon as possible.

“The more of us that are vaccinated, the more it puts us in a position where we can stop this dreaded killer,” Gov. Justice said. “We all know that the more people are vaccinated, the less people will die.”

“This Delta variant is different than the viruses we’ve seen before related to COVID-19,” Dr. Marsh said. “This virus is much more contagious and it’s able to spread much easier because there are such high concentrations of virus in the droplets.”

Dr. Marsh went on to point out that there were more than 60,000 new cases of COVID-19 reported across America yesterday alone, and that the vast majority of new daily cases are from the Delta variant.

“If we look around the country, in the last two weeks, we’ve now seen a tripling of the number of new cases of COVID-19,” Dr. Marsh said. “As we look at West Virginia, we’re still relatively early. But, based on every other place that we’ve seen, the Delta variant will take over and be the most common variant in West Virginia real soon.

“With school coming up and with many children who still haven’t been vaccinated, it’s really important for parents and grandparents for any vaccine-eligible child to choose vaccination,” Dr. Marsh continued. “Yesterday, we saw that a 5-year-old in Georgia died from COVID-19 and reports from Alabama are talking about young people now being in their ICUs having to be put on ventilators and respirators. One doctor said that when people are about to be put on a respirator because their lungs are failing, they ask, ‘Can I get vaccinated now?’ And the doctor has to say it’s too late.

“We don’t want it to be too late for any West Virginian. There is really no time to wait. Every West Virginian that hasn’t been vaccinated is at great risk with this Delta variant. Today is the day. Now is the time.”