COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice reports national COVID-19 cases six times higher than one year ago

CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing today to update the public on the state’s latest pandemic response and vaccine distribution efforts.
During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice reported that, according to Johns Hopkins, the seven-day average for COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are more than six times what they were a year ago. 

The Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center showed a seven-day average of 119,725 cases as of Saturday. That figure held at 17,887 cases on May 28 of last year. 

“We’re seeing a variant that is more contagious, meaning that you’re surely more apt to get it,” Gov. Justice said. “But absolutely you should really consider the fact that if you’re not vaccinated, the way this thing’s running across the land, there’s a good chance you’re going to get it in a bad way. I remind you over and over about your booster shot too, you know it’s available to you and absolutely you should be getting your booster shots.”

Despite the rising infection rate, COVID-related deaths were down from last year, a sign of increased immunity through vaccines and prior infections, along with wider availability of treatments.
“We are close to 100,000 average cases a day in the United States and really smart authorities think that we are picking up probably as few as 5 to 10% of all positive cases that are circulating,” Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said. “Remember at this point in 2021, we were sort of feeling good that perhaps we were going to get long respite from COVID and that’s when the Delta variants occurred for us and and caused many, many problems. And so it’s important for us to be highly vigilant about protecting ourselves and making sure we are fully vaccinated.”
Also Tuesday, Gov. Justice addressed his recent illness that caused him to postpone his COVID-19 briefing to today.

“You know, I want to stop just a second and say that I’m really foreign to feeling bad,” Gov. Justice said. “I can’t recall, for all practical purposes ever missing a day’s work by being sick. But man, I can’t imagine the magnitude of a small little tick that could get on you that could cause a lot of issues. I would caution everyone take take ticks really serious and guard yourself and check yourself for tics.

“I really want to thank all the people for the well wishes, I am tickled to death to be back here with you.”
On Tuesday Gov. Justice reported that there are now just 2,184 active cases of COVID-19 statewide. However, 1,972 new cases were received over the Memorial Day Weekend.

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Still, after reading the ages and locations of another 36 individuals who have passed away from COVID-19 since Thursday, May 19, Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and boosters.

Primary series vaccinations and a first booster dose are now encouraged for all West Virginians ages 5 and older.

A second booster dose is encouraged for all West Virginians ages 50 and older who are at least four months removed from their first booster dose, as well as certain immunocompromised individuals. All West Virginians who qualify can get a second booster dose everywhere vaccines are available.

The state’s free COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator – the only tool of its kind in the nation – has been updated to determine whether people are eligible for a second booster dose.
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