COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice once again emphasizes the importance of boosters: “I would run to the fire and get that booster shot.”

11/1/2021

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CHARLESTON, WV – 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 efforts.
GOV. JUSTICE URGES RESIDENTS TO GET BOOSTER SHOT IF ELIGIBLE
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice yet again encouraged all West Virginians to determine if they qualify for a booster dose and then immediately get one if they are eligible.

“The boosters are available now. You’ve got to protect yourself,” Gov. Justice said. “I would run to the fire and get that booster shot.”
There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. 

Per the latest CDC recommendations, individuals who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster shot if it has been at least six months since they completed their initial series of shots and they fall into at least one of the following groups: For individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
Per the CDC, eligible individuals now may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
* = Underlying medical conditions: State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh has noted that the list of underlying medical conditions that would qualify an individual to receive their booster shot is extremely broad. According to the CDC, such conditions include, but are not limited to:
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Mental health conditions
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
  • Substance use disorders
  • Tuberculosis
Click here to read more (via CDC)
If you are eligible for the booster shot, you can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with your vaccination card to receive the booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
WEST VIRGINIA CONTINUES PREPARATIONS FOR FEDERAL APPROVAL OF VACCINE FOR CHILDREN AGES 5-11
The Governor and state health experts went on to say that West Virginia continues its preparations ahead of the federal government’s expected approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children ages 5-11.

“We're actively preparing for the approval of the COVID vaccine for kids from 5 to 11 years old,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ll be ready to go the second the final approval comes out.”
On Friday, Pfizer-BioNTech received emergency use authorization from the FDA for their COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. However the CDC must also give its approval before doses can begin being distributed to this age group.

“We anticipate that tomorrow, when the CDC advisory group comes together, they will also recommend the vaccine for children 5 through 11 years old,” State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said. “In West Virginia, we still see a substantial number of new cases in this age group. So we hope that parents will choose to fully vaccinate their 5-to-11-year-old children. That’s really important to prevent the risk of Long COVID, the uncommon risk that that these children may experience severe disease if they do get infected, and also to reduce the transmission and continue to reduce the risk for all West Virginians of developing COVID-19 and ending up in the hospital or, even more concerning, to end up on the list of names that the Governor reads during every press briefing.”
GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES $38.7 MILLION SURPLUS FOR OCTOBER
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia’s General Revenue collections for October 2021 came in at $38.7 million above estimates.

October collections were 7.3% ahead of prior year receipts.

Year-to-date collections are $181.4 million above estimates four months into Fiscal Year 2022.

“It’s become old hat. But to have all this success, month after month, we would have danced in the streets not that long ago. Before I walked in the door, all of this would have been impossible,” Gov. Justice said. “We had deficits like you can’t imagine. No one had a solution whatsoever, other than more and more cuts.

“But with the great work of the Legislature and all those with me, we started to make things change,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’ve managed to not grow our spending. We’ve managed to push the right buttons. We’ve brought so much goodness to our people, it’s off the chart.”

Click here to read more
COVID-19 RESOURCES
CASE NUMBERS & HOSPITALIZATIONS UPDATE
On Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 6,940 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; down by 689 cases since the Governor’s previous briefing on Friday last week.

The active case count is down by 22,804 since peaking in mid-September, dropping by more than three-quarters (76.7%) in that time.

COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov

Meanwhile, the state continues to see a steady downward trend in the number of severe COVID cases.

The number of hospitalizations, patients in ICUs, and patients on ventilators have all dropped between 36.8% and 42.2% since peaking in the final week of September.

The number of hospitalizations is now 585; down by 62 over the past week. Since peaking at 1,012, hospitalizations have dropped by 427 (42.2%).

The number of patients in ICUs is now 187; down by three over the past week. Since peaking at 296, the number of patients in ICUs has dropped by 109 (36.8%).

The number of patients on ventilators is now 115; down by two over the past week. Since peaking at 195, the number of patients on ventilators has dropped by 80 (41.0%).

The County Alert System map now features six green counties, six yellow counties, nine gold counties, 25 orange counties, and nine red counties.
Gov. Justice also reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 40 school outbreaks in 18 counties with 629 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 Outbreaks in State Public Schools (WVDE)
GOV. JUSTICE RECAPS VISIT TO AWARD GOVERNOR’S CUP MARCHING BAND TROPHY
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to recap his visit to Philip Barbour High School on Saturday to present the Governor’s Cup Marching Band Trophy.

“I was told by our Curator Randall Reid-Smith that a Governor had never been to a marching band competition such as this,” Gov. Justice said during Monday’s briefing. “It was a great day.”
Cabell Midland High School was the grand champion, with the Hurricane High School being named runners-up and Greenbrier East High School being named second runners-up.
“These kids work so hard. I could not possibly be more proud of them,” Gov. Justice said. “With all these kids have gone through during the pandemic, I’ve made sure they could perform the last two years. It’s so important because these kids work just as hard as our football players or basketball players.”

Also on Saturday, the Governor presented Cabell Midland High School Director of Bands Tim James with a Distinguished West Virginian Award.

James is retiring after 40 years in education and after winning 151 Grand Championships.

“He just won his 10th straight West Virginia State Marching Championship after surviving quadruple bypass open heart surgery six weeks ago,” Gov. Justice said Monday. “What an incredible man and what an incredible job he’s done.”
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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

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Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

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