CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing Tuesday to update the public on the State’s latest pandemic response efforts.
ZERO COVID-19-RELATED DEATHS REPORTED OVER WEEKEND
During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that zero new COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in West Virginia since his previous briefing on Friday last week.
“I want you to remember this day – July 20, 2021 – because I do not have a single death to report to you from over the weekend,” Gov. Justice said.
“We’re still not out of the woods, we know that,” Gov. Justice added. “We’ve lost 2,919 folks in West Virginia, we still have a little over 1,000 active cases, and we’ve still got a bunch of folks in our hospitals and ICUs. But we have come a long, long way, West Virginia.
“We have been the miracle of our nation; a state that was labeled the most vulnerable of all the states, and yet, you’ve led the way over and over,” Gov. Justice continued. “We jumped out ahead of everybody with our vaccination rates because we identified that this disease attacks the elderly and we moved. You have a lot to be really proud of.
“Now, we don’t want to drop our guard, and we want to continue to get more and more folks vaccinated. But today is a big day of celebration and I could not be any happier. I congratulate all the medical experts, the healthcare community, all the first responders, our National Guard, and everyone who has stepped up over and over again.
“Let’s hope and pray that this will become the new normal as we go forward and we’ll get a lot more days like today, and that eventually we’ll be able to extinguish this killer.”
DELTA VARIANT CASE UPDATE: STATE LEADERS CONTINUE TO URGE VACCINATION AS CASE NUMBERS GROW NATIONALLY
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice reported that State pandemic response leaders continue to closely monitor the Delta variant of COVID-19 in West Virginia.
There are now 22 confirmed Delta variant cases spread across 11 West Virginia counties; up from 19 such cases as of the Governor’s previous briefing on Friday last week.
Once again, the Governor encouraged all West Virginians who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so as soon as possible.
“In West Virginia, we don’t have a major problem today, but it is ever so slightly creeping up,” Gov. Justice said.
During his remarks, West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh discussed how the Delta variant has begun to spread faster throughout the country; accounting for 83% of the nation’s new cases on July 19, compared to just 58% on July 17.
“As we track West Virginia’s cases, we know that the Delta variant will take a stronger and stronger hold on us as well,” Dr. Marsh said.
“The Delta variant is a preventable viral infection,” Dr. Marsh continued. “It is one, though, that in the unvaccinated, is causing more severe problems, including in children and young adults.
“Dr. Scott Gottlieb – who was the Food and Drug Administration lead under President Donald Trump – said that, if you are not vaccinated for COVID-19, you will become infected with the Delta variant and it will be the most severe viral infection that you’ve ever faced in your life.
“Although those are very dramatic words, we are really concerned about the folks that are not vaccinated and those that aren’t fully vaccinated. We urge all West Virginians who are not currently fully vaccinated to please choose vaccination. There is still time, but the Delta variant is here and growing in West Virginia, as it is across the rest of the country.”