West Virginia’s top pandemic adviser says it’s possible the state is nearing the peak of the omicron surge.
But Dr. Clay Marsh isn’t guaranteeing that. And he says even if that’s true of active cases, the state should still brace for continued difficulties.
“It looks like we might be starting to plateau and maybe even start to go over the coming downside,” Marsh said during a pandemic briefing today, “although that may be premature and we’ll see how things unfold coming up in the next several days.
“But we know there’s always a delay between the cases starting to come down and the number of hospitalizations and the severity of illness and then finally the number of deaths.”
West Virginia listed 17,098 active covid-19 cases today.
That is down somewhat from the 17,525 cases listed Thursday and 18,149 listed the day before.
But hospitalizations with covid-19 continue to rise. The latest number published by the state is 1,063, another all-time high.
Of the covid-19 patients in the hospital, 68.5 percent are unvaccinated, according to state data.
The state lists 225 covid-19 patients in intensive care units. And West Virginia identifies 122 covid-19 patients who need a ventilator to breathe. Those numbers have been relatively stable recently.
“It’s still really important that we try to protect ourselves in the most beneficial way. In doing that, we protect each other, and we protect our hospital capacity,” Marsh said.
Jim Hoyer, who leads West Virginia’s interagency task force, for weeks has focused on the strain on West Virginia’s hospital systems. He urged West Virginians to get vaccinated to avoid the worst effects of covid-19.
He described 149 new hospital admissions over the past day.
“Getting those vaccinations and getting those booster doses, if you are over age 50, our data shows that you are much more protected and much less likely to suffer significant circumstances,” Hoyer said.
West Virginia has identified 5,743 deaths from covid-19 since the pandemic began.
“Right now, it’s so important for us to protect ourselves, protect our hospitals, protect our state,” Marsh said.
“And this will pass, but we want it to pass with as few West Virginians suffering and dying and as few hospitals having more and more problems taking care of people’s illnesses.”