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With a cold snap, state leaders advise continued covid caution

With active covid cases on the decline in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice and his advisers are cautioning people to continue to be careful as cooler weather hits.

“I’ve said over and over and over, bad weather’s coming. We’re going to be indoors more,” Justice said during a briefing today. “This delta variant is multiples of times more infectious.”

West Virginia reported 9,033 active cases of covid-19 today. A month ago, Sept. 18, the number was 25,074.

Hospitalizations, while still significant, also have been trending downward.

There were 746 hospitalizations reported today. Seventy-six percent of those are among unvaccinated state residents. On Sept. 18, the number was 934.

There were 218 covid patients whose conditions required the intensive care unit today. Of those, 86 percent were unvaccinated.

And there were 136 patients requiring a ventilator to breathe. Of those, 88 percent were unvaccinated.

Although the numbers from a late-summer spike are improving, Justice has been warning for weeks that there could be more problems as weather cools and more people gather inside.

Dr. Clay Marsh

“We are always concerned about colder weather that brings people together indoors,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, the governor’s top covid response adviser. “As the governor has said many times the most important protection we can give is through full vaccination.”

State statistics show about 58 percent of West Virginia’s vaccine-eligible population is fully vaccinated.

Marsh repeated advice that West Virginians should get a flu shot at this point, along with a covid-19 vaccination or booster.

“We’ve talked about the dangers of influenza as a co-existent virus and there are other viruses that affect the lungs that are problematic during a wintertime surge,” Marsh said.

Dr. Ayne Amjad

Dr. Ayne Amjad, the state’s public health officer, added that if people are feeling ill then they should seek out a covid test.

“Before you go into an indoor event with family or friends, you can get tested or stay home if you’re not feeling well,” Amjad said.



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