W.Va. Reports No New Cases Of Delta Variant In A Week, But Officials Remain On Alert
West Virginia public health officials have reported no new cases of a highly infectious variant of the coronavirus in the past week, but Gov. Jim Justice and others remain on alert.
Last Tuesday, state officials reported 12 total cases of the Delta variant — up from four the day before. Since then, no new cases of the strain have been reported in West Virginia.
Despite the leveling-off of cases in the past week, Justice said Tuesday the state should expect more cases of the variant.
“The best information we have tells us just this that we’re in our infancy in West Virginia with a Delta variant,” Justice said. “The odds are astronomical that that variant is going to go substantially greater than it is today.”
State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh echoed the governor’s concerns. Because West Virginia has been behind other states when it came to earlier spikes in the pandemic, Marsh predicts that the state could still see an increase of cases from the Delta variant.
“We are not seeing explosive growth of this variant yet,” Marsh said. “But as we have seen throughout this pandemic, West Virginia is always a little bit slower to see some of the things that we see spreading from the rest of the world and from other states.”
Justice also reported Tuesday that more than one million of the state's 1.8 million residents have gotten at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. With the Delta variant predicted to become the predominant strain of the coronavirus in the United States, Justice and his advisors continue to ask West Virginians to get vaccinated.
“If you're not vaccinated, you're part of the problem rather than part of the solution. You know, that's all there is to it,” Justice said. “If we had you vaccinated, less people would die.”
To date, the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has reported 164,279 total cases of the coronavirus, of which 1,093 are considered active. Officials report 2,901 residents have died from the virus.