During Monday’s briefing, Governor Jim Justice reminded West Virginians that the State has launched its Booster Battlefield Assessment.
The voluntary program is an opportunity for West Virginia’s long-term care facility residents and other West Virginians ages 60 and above who were vaccinated more than six months ago to volunteer to have their blood drawn and have their antibody levels measured.
“This is the first statewide program in the country to test and measure antibody levels,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia continues to lead the way.”
Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) Director Jim Hoyer said Monday that any West Virginians who are interested in participating in the Booster Battlefield Assessment should call the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line at 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gov. Justice added that WVU and Marshall University will lead the study, with assistance from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and working closely with the West Virginia Health Care Association.
“We are also in the process of connecting with the FDA, CDC, and the vaccine manufacturers to make sure we are providing this real-world data in a way that assists in determining if a third dose of vaccine is best for our citizens over 60 who have had their first vaccine over six months ago,” Gov. Justice said.
With the latest wave of COVID-19 cases continuing to accelerate, the Governor and State medical experts continued to plead with West Virginians to get vaccinated Monday.
“We’re just weeks away from WVU and Marshall football games, fairs and festivals, the State Fair of West Virginia – people are going to be piled up on top of people and this Delta variant is here,” Gov. Justice said. “How are you going to feel if you’re walking through those crowds without being vaccinated?”
The total number of active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia has now reached 2,480; up 570 cases since the Governor’s previous briefing on Thursday last week and nearly three times higher than the number of active cases just over three weeks ago.
The number of hospitalizations (152) and ICU patients (67) are also both up from Thursday last week.
Meanwhile, the County Alert System map shows that 37 of the state’s 55 counties are now above the Green category, with five counties in the Orange category and two counties (Marshall and Wetzel) in the Red category.