Governor's Update - February 7, 2022


CHARLESTON – Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing today to update the public on the state’s latest pandemic response and vaccine distribution efforts.

During his 300th briefing on COVID-19 Monday, Gov. Justice spotlighted a pair of charts depicting the number of daily cases in West Virginia and across the nation, both of which now show a substantial decline in cases in recent days.

“If you look at these charts, you’ll see that, as we entered this surge from the Omicron variant, our numbers went way, way up. But now, you see them moving down pretty aggressively,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re starting to move in a good direction and we’re very, very hopeful that this drop off will continue.”

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.

On Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 10,700 active cases of COVID-19 and 994 COVID-related hospitalizations statewide.

The Governor went on to announce that 290 West Virginia National Guard members have now been authorized to deploy to 34 medical facilities across the state as part of the WVNG’s mission to provide staffing support to West Virginia hospitals in the face of the current surge.

Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that a 31-year-old Western Regional Jail correctional officer has died from COVID-19, the fourth such death among Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation staff since the pandemic began.

Cpl. Christopher Scarberry, of Genoa, had served at the Western Regional Jail in Cabell County since 2018. He had been hospitalized with COVID-19 since December and died Sunday. His survivors include his wife and three stepchildren.

“Cathy and I offer up our prayers and our condolences, in every way, to Christopher, his family, and all his loved ones,” Gov. Justice said. “From the beginning of this terrible pandemic, our correctional officers have run to the fire. I promise you, Christopher will never be forgotten.”

Gov. Justice also took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to offer his prayers and condolences to the loved ones of former member of the West Virginia House of Delegates and longtime Kanawha County Commissioner Henry “Hoppy” Shores, who passed away on Friday at the age of 92.

“Cathy and I will surely be offering our prayers for Hoppy and his family, and we ask all West Virginians to join us,” Gov. Justice said. “This was a man who served his state for a long, long time. It’s just amazing all he did to try to help people.”

Shores was the longest-serving commissioner in Kanawha County history. First elected in 1966, he served on the commission for a total of 42 years.

Shores also served in the West Virginia House of Delegates from 1986 to 1990.

The Governor went on to announce that he will be issuing a proclamation to lower U.S. and state flags to half-staff on the day of services celebrating Shores’ life.

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