CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Public health officials in West Virginia are keeping an eye on some concerning COVID-19 numbers.

There were 902 new cases in the past day, and the number of active cases is above 7,600. Both of those numbers have risen steadily during this week. Perhaps of bigger concern, is that the number of the highly lethal delta variant cases has shot surpassed 5,500.

“The Delta variant is a much more persistent variant than we have experienced before. It’s very highly contagious and transmissible,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia COVID-19 Czar.

The state is still awaiting federal approval of vaccines for children ages 5 through 11, but the approval from the FDA came today, and CDC is expected to next week.

“We will be ready and we are ready, for when the approval comes for age 5 to 11. A lot of work has been done to prepare for that activity,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer (Ret.), of the Joint Inter-Agency Task Force.

The Governor is also urging people over 60 and the immune compromised to get their booster shots.

“Those of you that are out there who were fully vaccinated, and everything. Your immune protection is now depleted,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

“West Virginia health teams and the National Guard have been busy trying to get all nursing home residents and workers their booster shots, and General Hoyer says that task should be complete by next week,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

More than 43,000 people in West Virginia have already received a booster shot.