COVID-19 UPDATE: Despite case count dipping below 300, Gov. Justice warns, “Whatever we do, we can’t drop our guard”

4/5/2022

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
Governor and COVID Czar again explain who is eligible for 2nd booster with new variant sparking another wave of COVID around the world
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 and vaccine distribution efforts.
DESPITE CASE COUNT DIPPING BELOW 300, GOV. JUSTICE WARNS, “WHATEVER WE DO, WE CAN’T DROP OUR GUARD”
During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice reported that there are now just 263 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; the lowest daily active case total since the first full month of the pandemic.

Over the past two months, total active cases have decreased by more than 98.7%. West Virginia’s County Alert Map once again features all 55 of the state’s counties in the Green category.

COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov
Despite the good news, however, the Governor and State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh warned that another infectious variant of COVID-19 – a subvariant of Omicron known as BA.2 – has sparked a new wave of COVID infections across the world, with a growing number popping up in the United States.

“Whatever we do, we can’t drop our guard,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve already seen this play out many times before. A new variant will show up on another continent, then it makes its way to California or New York, and, eventually, we end up dealing with it in West Virginia.

“So we have this new variant that’s out there right now,” Gov. Justice continued. “If you look at our map today, it’s still all green. Our hospitalizations are way down. All of our numbers look pretty good. But, if we want to keep our numbers that way, if we want to try to stop this thing before it even gets here, we need everyone to have the proper number of vaccinations.”
“The United Kingdom started seeing cases going up first, then they saw hospitalizations go up, and now, they’re seeing deaths go back up, and it’s all pointing to BA.2,” Dr. Marsh said. “We will wait to see what this variant’s impact on West Virginia will be. But, before that happens, it is important that people who are in the most vulnerable categories take the opportunity to get vaccinated or make sure you’re up-to-date on your booster shots.”
2nd booster shots have now been authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC for those ages 50 and over who are also at least four months removed from their 1st booster dose, as well as certain younger immunocompromised individuals ages 12 and older.

All West Virginians who qualify can immediately get this dose anywhere vaccines are available.

The state’s new COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator has been updated to determine whether people are eligible for a 2nd booster dose.

All West Virginians ages 5 and older are eligible for the initial COVID-19 vaccine. After the primary series, 1st booster shots are recommended for those ages 12 and older.

Read more about vaccines at Vaccinate.wv.gov and at CDC.gov.
GOVERNOR OFFERS CONDOLENCES AFTER PASSING OF FRONTLINE WORKER
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice offered his prayers and condolences to West Virginia’s entire healthcare community, after the loss of one of their most prominent frontline COVID-19 workers.

Tim Coffman – who was the greeter at West Virginia Health Right’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing and vaccination clinics –  recently passed away. His death was not COVID-related.

“Tim served our state beyond belief,” Gov. Justice said. “He was a superstar in every way.”

Over the two years of COVID-19, Coffman greeted tens of thousands of people and saved countless lives. He welcomed every patient, handed them their paperwork forms, and coordinated shots and tests.

Click here to watch/read story about Tim Coffman via WOWK-TV

“Tim Coffman was a good man who will really be missed,” Gov. Justice added Tuesday. “He helped so many people. We’ll miss him. Please keep Tim and his family in your prayers.”
COVID-19 RESOURCES
GOV. JUSTICE HONORS THOSE LOST IN UPPER BIG BRANCH MINE DISASTER 12 YEARS AGO
Gov. Justice also took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to offer his prayers and condolences to the 29 West Virginians who lost their lives in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster on April 5, 2010, as well as the victims’ families.

Tuesday marked the 12-year anniversary of the tragedy.

“It’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years since that tragic day,” Gov. Justice said. “It sent shockwaves throughout the entire mining community.

“My family has been in the mining business for forever and a day, so I know just how brave our miners truly are when they strap on their gear and go underground,” Gov. Justice continued. “For everyone we lost that day, keep them in your thoughts and prayers. For our current miners, if you see them, thank them. These are true American heroes.”
NATIONAL LIBRARY WORKERS DAY
Additionally, Gov. Justice took time to announce that Tuesday marked National Library Workers Day.

West Virginia public libraries hosted over 1.1 million visitors this past fiscal year.

The Governor went on to encourage all West Virginians to visit a library and pick up a book this week.

“I want to congratulate the staff of West Virginia’s academic, public, and school librarians who keep West Virginia’s libraries running and who keep West Virginia reading,” Gov. Justice said.
GOVERNOR, FIRST LADY ANNOUNCE EASTER CELEBRATION SCHEDULED FOR SATURDAY AT STATE CAPITOL
Also, Gov. Justice echoed the announcement made earlier Tuesday morning by First Lady Cathy Justice that the 2022 Bunny Brunch and Easter Celebration will be held this Saturday, April 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the West Virginia State Culture Center at the State Capitol Complex in Charleston.

The event is free of charge and open to the public.

The Culture Center will be transformed into an Easter Celebration, complete with a petting zoo, bicycle giveaways, games, prizes, crafts, food, and an appearance by the Easter Bunny. There will also be a Golden Easter Egg Hunt with prizes awarded on the grounds of the Capitol.

“We’re going to do all kinds of fun things, especially for the kids,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re going to have prize giveaways and so much more.

“I hope you’ll join Cathy and I at the State Capitol to enjoy the day with us in celebration of the most cherished holiday of Easter,” Gov. Justice added.

Click here to read more
###

Contact Information

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

Contact

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

Flag Status

 

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map