During Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia has once again set a new record number of COVID-related hospitalizations for the entire pandemic, with 893 individuals currently in hospitals across the state.
The number of West Virginians in ICUs has once again set a new record high of 275 patients. The number of West Virginians on ventilators is up to 160 patients; just three shy of the all-time record in this category as well.
“We know that, for the most part, we’re dealing with a disease that is attacking the unvaccinated,” Gov. Justice said. “If you’re still unvaccinated, you need to make a great decision right now and get yourself vaccinated.”
Approximately 84% of West Virginians who are hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated and over 90% of those in ICUs with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time to illustrate just how overwhelming of a majority these numbers are, showing a pair of infographics visualizing what these percentages look like.
“You can see, there’s no getting away from it. It’s all around everywhere,” Gov. Justice said. “The only way you’re really going to stand a great chance to get away from it is to be vaccinated.”
“More and more people are dying every day,” Gov. Justice continued. “More and more, there is a need for you to get vaccinated to save your life and the lives of your loved ones around you.”
The statewide death toll from COVID-19 reached 3,296 on Wednesday, with 58 more deaths being reported since the Governor’s previous briefing just two days ago, including 14 such deaths reported yesterday as a result of the DHHR’s data reconciliation with official death certificates.
The total number of active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia has now reached 27,674; up from 27,607 as of the Governor’s previous briefing on Monday.
Meanwhile, the County Alert System map now shows that 52 of the state’s 55 counties are now in either the highest-risk Red category or one step below in the Orange category.
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is fully FDA-approved for the prevention of COVID-19 in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immuno-compromised individuals.
“We had 4,200 people that have been vaccinated since the last briefing,” Gov. Justice said. “There’s no question whatsoever, we will save some of those people’s lives. But it’s not enough.”
All West Virginians interested in being vaccinated are encouraged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 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.
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 87 active outbreaks in 33 counties within the state public school system.
Seven schools and one entire county school system – Preston County – are currently closed due to COVID-19.
A total of 53 county school systems have either face covering requirements or a criteria for requiring face coverings. The remaining two counties – Pocahontas and Putnam counties – do not have face covering requirements at this time.
There are now three active outbreaks associated with churches throughout West Virginia. The churches are located in Monroe, Raleigh, and Wayne counties.
Additionally, there are now 76 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.
Meanwhile, there are now 210 active inmate cases and 49 active staff cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation system.