|GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE AVAILABILITY OF MODERNA, J&J BOOSTER SHOTS|
Charleston, WV – (WWNR) During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice reported that the CDC has recommended booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to certain individuals.
The Governor announced that pandemic response teams are ready to get more booster shots in the arms of eligible West Virginians.
“We just want to keep getting everybody vaccinated that we can possibly get,” Gov. Justice said.
|The CDC recommended the Moderna booster for elderly people and at-risk adults six months after they complete their primary series of shots, bringing it in line with the distribution plan for the Pfizer booster.|
The CDC also endorsed J&J boosters for everyone age 18 and older who received the initial shot at least two months ago.
If you are eligible for a booster shot, you can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with your vaccination card to receive the booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
|BILL REQUIRING EXEMPTIONS FROM VACCINE MANDATES IN THE WORKPLACE PASSES|
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice discussed the passage of the bill that he originally proposed, clarifying that any government or private business that wishes to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine must also allow exemptions to that mandate for medical or religious reasons.
The bill still allows businesses to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, so long as the appropriate exemptions are available.
“The bill passed. However, it was amended to say that it does not go into effect until January 2022,” Gov. Justice said. “I hope that our employers will take heed. I know they’re trying to stop this dreaded disease. They’re trying to do what’s right. But sometimes, in trying to look at the big picture, we don’t look hard enough at the smaller picture, and the smaller picture is really big to folks that could lose their jobs and have strong beliefs. I just ask that you respect them and try to work with them.”
|CASE NUMBERS & HOSPITALIZATIONS UPDATE|
On Friday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 8,746 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; up by 277 since the Governor’s previous briefing on Wednesday.
Despite the small increase over the past two days, the active case count is down overall by 20,998 cases since peaking one month ago, a drop of 70.6% in that time.
COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov
Meanwhile, the state continues to see a steady downward trend in the number of severe COVID cases.
The number of hospitalizations, patients in ICUs, and patients on ventilators have all dropped between 30.7% and 40.5% since peaking in the final week of September.
The number of hospitalizations is now 686; down by 99 over the past week. Since peaking at 1,012, hospitalizations have dropped by 326 (32.2%).
The number of patients in ICUs is now 205; down by 22 over the past week. Since peaking at 296, the number of patients in ICUs has dropped by 91 (30.7%).
The number of patients on ventilators is now 116; down by 47 over the past week. Since peaking at 195, the number of patients on ventilators has dropped by 79 (40.5%).
The County Alert System map continues to show modest improvement, featuring four green counties, four yellow counties, nine gold counties, 24 orange counties, and 14 red counties.
|SCHOOL OUTBREAK REPORT|
On Friday, Gov. Justice reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 42 school outbreaks in 19 counties with 606 confirmed cases.
COVID-19 Outbreaks in State Public Schools (WVDE)
A total of 53 county school systems have either face covering requirements or a criteria for requiring face coverings. Only two counties – Pocahontas and Tucker counties – do not have a face covering requirement at this time.
WV Department of Education COVID-19 Updates
|WEST VIRGINIANS ENCOURAGED TO GET FLU VACCINE|
With flu season getting underway, Gov. Justice and State health officials took time to encourage all West Virginians to get their flu vaccine.
According to health officials, everyone 6 months and older should receive this vaccine.
In addition to providing protection from the flu, this vaccine helps reduce the burden on hospitals and healthcare systems.
Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time.
Click here to learn more