June 13, 2022
News Release (AP)
CHARLESTON, WV - West Virginia has surpassed 7,000 coronavirus deaths as Gov. Jim Justice urged residents Monday to stay current on their COVID-19 vaccinations.
According to the Department of Health and Human Resources’ website, 7,001 people have died in the state over the past two years since the pandemic started.
“It’s just hard to fathom,” the Republican governor said at a regular-COVID-19 briefing. “If you think of all the tough things that we see on the news from time to time over the years, the mine disasters or plane crashes, whatever it may be, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to this.”
The state surpassed 5,000 COVID-19 deaths in early December and 6,000 deaths in mid-February.
The number of patients hospitalized from the virus has risen since hitting a low point for the year of 77 on April 20. Hospitalizations have increased 75% over the past month, going from 124 on May 13 to 217 on Monday. Still, it’s a steep drop from the record 1,097 patients on Feb. 2.
The 1,989 active COVID-19 cases in the state are down from 2,690 on June 4, which had been the highest point in more than three months, according to the DHHR.
About 55% of West Virginia’s 1.79 million residents are fully vaccinated against the virus and 63% have received at least one dose. Justice urged residents, especially those over age 50, to get their booster shots.
“Please don’t sit on the sideline and let this stuff whip around and get you,” he said.