Marsh urges people to continue vaccination, booster efforts

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia officials continue to raise concerns about the coronavirus as they learn new information about new cases.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources reported Tuesday 3,071 active cases, including 912 new cases. Officials also confirmed six deaths related to the pandemic; 7,129 West Virginians have died of the coronavirus during the pandemic.

Dr. Clay Marsh (File)

Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s coronavirus czar, said during Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing that “now is an important time” for people to review their vaccine status and receive any additional doses. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a coronavirus booster dose for anyone 5 and older; adults 50 and older and people who are immunocompromised as well as 12 and older should consider a second booster dose.

“Please consider staying up to date with your vaccines, particularly with the BA.5 variant coming through,” he said. “We had over 500 people who died in the U.S. yesterday [Monday] from COVID, and remember, the third leading cause of death in 2020 and 2021 were COVID in all age groups.”

In regards to Americans between the ages of 45 and 60, the coronavirus was the leading cause of death.

Marsh noted recent data from the Walgreens COVID-19 Index — which tracks the number of positive coronavirus cases in each state — showing West Virginia and New Hampshire recorded the highest increases in positive coronavirus test results.

“It’s really important to stay up to date, and we hope that more and more people will take advantage to receive a booster shot, and that booster shot age requirement will go down to afford more people the opportunity to get that fourth shot,” he said.

The state Department of Health and Human Resources on Tuesday also reported 329 hospitalizations related to the coronavirus.

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