Governor Update - December 30


CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing Thursday to update the public on the State’s latest pandemic response efforts.

OMICRON VARIANT UPDATE

Gov. Justice announced that, with the number of Omicron variant cases climbing across the country, he has directed state health officials and his COVID-19 response team to continue closely monitoring case numbers along with the state’s hospital bed availability.

“We only have 18 cases, but we know it’s absolutely moving. It’s going to get higher,” Gov. Justice said. “I’ve directed my team to keep a close watch and provide me with recommendations about our hospitals and our critical care infrastructure.

“The bottom line is that we need to save lives, protect our hospitals, and protect our ability to care for our people,” Gov. Justice continued. “It is absolutely essential that we be concerned about the possibility that we could get into a situation where our hospitals are overrun.”

The Governor added that West Virginians can do their part to lessen the load on hospitals by getting vaccinated or boosted to protect against serious COVID infection.

“You really need to step up and get yourself vaccinated or get that booster shot,” Gov. Justice said.

GET VACCINATED / GET YOUR BOOSTER SHOT

Free booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available for all eligible West Virginians (CDC guidance).

A booster dose is recommended if at least six months have passed since you received your initial two-dose series of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines or if at least two months have passed since you received your initial one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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.

CASE NUMBERS & HOSPITALIZATIONS UPDATE

On Thursday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 11,017 active cases of COVID-19 statewide.

The cumulative percent positivity rate stands at 6.48%.

A total of 1,103,314 West Virginians – 64.9% of the eligible population ages 5 and older – have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Booster doses have now been administered to 317,638 people – or 34.6% of West Virginians who have received both doses of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine series or their dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

An updated breakdown of the West Virginia County Alert Map is as follows: 30 Red counties; 15 Orange counties; five Gold counties; one Yellow county; and four Green counties.

Gov. Justice also reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 22 school outbreaks in 15 counties with 272 confirmed cases.

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