CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The governor says he does not want to alarm people, nor should the public panic.
But the state’s COVID-19 numbers are getting worse.
In the past day, there were 255 new cases. West Virginia now has more that 1,900 active cases – that’s more than double the count on July 9th. And the Delta variant cases are now at 100, that’s a 125 percent increase since Tuesday. And the Delta variant is far more contagious and lethal.
“The Delta variant can be present in such high concentrations that people can get sick and can transmit potentially the disease, who are fully vaccinated,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia COVID-19 Czar.
In fact, of the 100 Delta variant cases in West Virginia, 34 of the people were fully vaccinated. To combat the situation the governor is asking people to voluntarily participate in a study. Those over age 60, including people in hospitals and nursing homes, who were vaccinated more than 6 months ago, will be retested.
“We’re finding that the antibodies, the antibodies that you have, to fight off a Delta variant have diminished. And you may very well need to be looking at a booster shot,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
The governor is also ordering that nursing homes and hospitals check there supplies of protective face masks and sanitizers, to make sure they have enough. They should also evaluate staffing levels as COVID numbers continue to spike.
“Even though some key indicators are trending badly, Governor Justice says he’s not yet ready to bring back a mask mandate. Health officials say it might be a good idea just to keep one with you at all times, and wear it if you ever feel unsafe, such as in a crowd,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.