Gov. Justice says recent surge of cases “will only get worse if we don’t really aggressively run and get vaccinated today”

CHARLESTON, WV (WOAY) – 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.

During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice reported that the total number of active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia has now reached 3,372; nearly four times the number of active cases seen throughout the state less than a month ago.

“We’re starting to see a more rapid increase,” Gov. Justice said. “There needs to be more and more concern about getting yourself vaccinated because we’re running out of time.”

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are also climbing.

The number of active hospitalizations in West Virginia is now 210, up from 185 as of the Governor’s previous briefing on Wednesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 32.4% are in the ICU.

Gov. Justice also reported that West Virginia now has five counties in the Red category of the County Alert System map: Cabell, Marshall, Upshur, Wetzel, and Wyoming counties.

The map also now features 12 Orange counties, six Gold counties, and 13 Yellow counties; meaning that 36 of the state’s 55 counties are now above the Green category.

Gov. Justice went on to report that there are now 129 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant that have been identified in 32 counties across the state.

“With all the risks that are out there, you need to move today,” Gov. Justice said. “We all know how to stop it. All we’ve got to do is get vaccinated.

“But it will only get worse if we don’t really aggressively run and get vaccinated today,” Gov. Justice continued.

Gov. Justice provided a reminder to all West Virginians that the deadline to register for the final prize drawing in the “Do it for Babydog” Vaccination Sweepstakes is Sunday, Aug. 8, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

The final round of prizes for vaccinated West Virginians ages 18 and older include:

  • One grand prize of $1.588 million
  • One second place prize of $588,000
  • Two brand-new custom-outfitted trucks
  • Five lifetime hunting licenses
  • Five lifetime fishing licenses
  • Five custom hunting rifles
  • Five custom hunting shotguns
  • 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia State Parks

Additionally, two vaccinated West Virginians ages 12-25 will win a full four-year scholarship to any public institution in the state.

The final round of prizes will be awarded on Tuesday, Aug. 10.

The final giveaway was originally scheduled to take place earlier this week. But, with demand for vaccines increasing in response to the increased threat of the Delta variant, Gov. Justice announced that he would be extending the program.

Just since Wednesday, another 3,000 vaccine doses have been administered statewide.

All West Virginians who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to register for the sweepstakes.

Over 381,000 West Virginians have registered for the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” Vaccination Sweepstakes to date.

Also on Friday, Gov. Justice announced that more information about signing up for the Booster Battlefield Assessment is coming soon.

West Virginia’s Booster Battlefield Assessment is the first statewide program in the country to test and measure antibody levels among vaccinated individuals.

Earlier this week, Joint Interagency Task Force Director Jim Hoyer said 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.

“We’re going to get you more information about how to sign up soon,” Gov. Justice said. “In the meantime, we appreciate you calling in.

“We’re going to move to get antibodies checked in our nursing homes first, and then we’re going to move to others,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’re going to get a lot of really valuable information.”

Also on Friday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 10 active outbreaks associated with churches throughout West Virginia. The churches are located in Cabell, Fayette, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, McDowell, Nicholas, Putnam, and Raleigh counties.

Additionally, there are now 14 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.

Meanwhile, there are 29 active inmate cases and four active staff cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation system. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.

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