Gov. Jim Justice has started each of his covid-19 briefings by announcing the deaths of each West Virginian who has passed away because of the virus. Today, the governor was happy to be relieved from having to do that.
West Virginia, he said, has not recorded a covid-19 death since his most recent briefing last Friday.
“This is the day that over the weekend we do not have one single death that I’ve got to report. We’ve come a long ways,” Justice said.
He later added, “I could not possibly be any happier. Congratulations West Virginia. Remember July the 20th. We hope and pray there will be more days like today.”
The governor cautioned, though, that there’s still reason to be on guard.
“Now we don’t want to drop out guard and we want to get more and more and more folks vaccinated,” he said.
Coronavirus response coordinator Clay Marsh agreed that the recent trend has been a reason for rejoicing.
“It is really good news that we haven’t lost any West Virginians over the last several days to covid-19,” Marsh said.
But Marsh warned that people should not let down their guard as the delta variant of covid-19 sweeps across the country. He said most of the current deaths nationally are among people who have not been vaccinated.
“So we see what an important role these vaccines are making,” Marsh said.
West Virginia has recorded 2,919 deaths over the course of the pandemic.
The state is currently recording 1,098 active cases. There are 85 people hospitalized with covid-19 in West Virginia, along with 33 ICU admissions.
West Virginia statistics show 869,189 state residents are fully vaccinated, about 48 percent of the total population.
Of particular concern around the country is the delta variant, believed to be significantly more transmissible than earlier strains.
The delta variant now makes up 83 percent of new coronavirus cases in the United States, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said Tuesday.
That’s a big leap over the past few weeks.
West Virginia statistics show 22 cases of delta variant identified among state residents.
“The delta variant is coming and it is here and growing in West Virginia like it is in the rest of the country,” Marsh said during today’s West Virginia briefing.