June Leffler Published

Marsh Describes New COVID-19 Subvariants

0329 Marsh

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, state officials say the pandemic is nowhere near over.

Gov. Jim Justice is optimistic that the worst days of the pandemic could be behind us. But that doesn’t mean the virus is going away.

“I don’t think this thing is just miraculously going to evaporate, I think we have to find a way to live with this,” Justice said.

The nation’s leading infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said the U.S. is likely out of the “acute” phase of the pandemic.

West Virginia’s coronavirus czar, Dr. Clay Marsh, said the omicron variant that caused a surge last winter has split off into multiple subvariants.

“There’s other forms of this variant that we see in the eastern part of the country, which are even more infectious and more resistant to our immune systems’ antibody effects,” Marsh said.

Marsh said getting vaccinated and boosted is the best protection. The state created an online tool that calculates when you’ll need your next vaccine shot.

Justice’s office said tens of thousands of West Virginians have used the calculator.

Anyone needing further help using the calculator can call the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965.

Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting with support from Charleston Area Medical Center and Marshall Health.