Chris Schulz Published

COVID-19 Deaths Continue To Climb Despite Improving Numbers

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The state’s COVID-19 numbers continue to improve incrementally, but the virus is still claiming lives.

Gov. Jim Justice read 23 more COVID-19 deaths Tuesday bringing the state’s total deaths from the pandemic to 7,402.

Justice and his advisers pointed out 95 percent of the state’s COVID-19 deaths have been people 50 or older.

“At the end of the day, that wisdom is lost,” Justice said. “Seventy-five percent of those 7,402 deaths have been people over the age of 65 we’ll miss and we’ll never recover from the loss of that wisdom. It’s really sad.”

Coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh said that data from abroad shows the BA.5 omicron variant is plateauing, but new variants are emerging. He said that in colder climates, cases as well as hospitalizations are increasing, highlighting the importance of the recently released omicron-specific booster.

“Now that the booster shots are available for all West Virginians and Americans over 12 years old, it is really important for us to take that step to protect ourselves, to protect our communities,” Marsh said.

Justice continued to advocate for not only continued COVID-19 vaccination, but also flu vaccinations.

“You need to be going to get your flu shots as well,” he said. “You can get your COVID shots at the same time you’re getting your flu shot, but we absolutely know that what we don’t want to do is get in a situation to where this winter it just gets compoundingly worse.”