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Photo courtesy W.Va. Governor's Office

Governor’s office: West Virginia surpasses 6,000 COVID-related deaths, but case numbers continue sharp decline

CHARLESTON — During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia has now surpassed 6,000 COVID-19-related deaths.

“It’s surely not something that we wanted to achieve, but the reality is what it is,” Gov. Justice said. “I ask for your prayers for everyone that we’ve lost. It’s just a sad, sad situation. It really rips my heart out. I just hate it.”

However, Gov. Justice also expressed cautious optimism about West Virginia’s improving COVID case numbers. The total number of active cases statewide have dropped by two-thirds in just the past three weeks. Meanwhile, the number of active hospitalizations have also decreased dramatically of late. Since peaking at 1,097 on Feb. 2, the number of hospitalizations is now 779; down by 318 (29%) over the past 12 days.

To date, 326 West Virginia National Guard members have been authorized to deploy to 36 medical facilities across the state as part of the WVNG’s mission to provide staffing support to West Virginia hospitals.

BOOSTER SHOTS NOW AUTHORIZED FOR ALL WEST VIRGINIANS AGES 12 AND OLDER

COVID-19 booster shots are now authorized and encouraged for all West Virginians ages 12 and older. Booster shots are available for free to all eligible West Virginians. The waiting period for those who received initial series Pfizer shots has been shortened to five months. Read more about booster eligibility at CDC.gov.

West Virginians can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with their vaccination card to receive their booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR. Initial series vaccinations remain available for free for all West Virginians ages 5 and older.

West Virginians interested in being vaccinated or having their children vaccinated are encouraged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965.

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