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Health & Science

Officials: West Virginia Likely To See Another COVID Surge

0329 Marsh
WV Governor's Office
Coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh speaks during Gov. Jim Justice’s March 29, 2022 COVID-19 press briefing.

All 55 counties are still green on the state’s COVID-19 dashboard, but if international trends are anything to go by, that could soon change.

At Gov. Jim Justice’s regular COVID-19 press briefing, coronavirus czar Dr. Clay Marsh warned that, based on case data from Europe and the United Kingdom in particular, the state should be bracing for another wave, this time from the omicron-BA.2 variant.

“They also, through the middle and part of February, were seeing the same reduction as we're seeing now in West Virginia,” Marsh said. “Then at the beginning of March, the BA.2 variant really picked up for them, and ended up increasing not only the number of cases, but also the number of hospitalizations and the number of deaths in the United Kingdom.”

BA.2 is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States. West Virginia has confirmed 12 cases of the BA.2 variant, but the state’s case numbers often lag two to four weeks behind larger population centers. Marsh said it is only a matter of time before the strain is dominant in the state as well.

Both Marsh and Justice renewed calls for vaccination after the Food and Drug Administration’s authorization of a second COVID boosters for some older and immunocompromised people earlier Tuesday. The booster still requires approval from the Centers for Disease Control before public release.

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