WEST VIRGINIA (WDVM) — West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is warning residents as he has throughout the COVID-19 pandemic about the risks of the virus. But now, with two COVID treatments having lost their emergency approval by the FDA, that warning comes with renewed vigor.
In just 24 hours, the state of West Virginia has recorded over 4,000 new covid cases. While the daily percent positivity has dropped from around 24.4% to 22%, hospitalizations and ICU admissions are rising, with unvaccinated patients accounting for over 60 percent of patients in both admission categories.
Despite Governor Justice deploying West Virginia National Guard members to assist hospitals across the state, hospitalizations in the Mountain State rose from 967 to 1,043 from January 23rd to January 26th. During that same time, ICU admissions rose from 215 to 225.
State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh explained the two treatments that lost their emergency authorization, Regeneron and Eli Lilly, have shown they are not effective in combatting the virus due to the large mutations in spike proteins omicron variant according to research done by the CDC.
Now Dr. Marsh is warning residents that with the elimination of two COVID treatments, the risk of contracting the virus could grow and pose more of a risk for the unvaccinated.
“So we are still believing that we are still watching some of the growth of the omicron variant spread in West Virginia. Our hospitals are full, and in the U.S., our death rates have now exceeded the death rates on an average daily basis of what we saw during delta,” Dr. Marsh explained. “It’s really important that people recognize new data from the CDC would say that your risk of dying from omicron is 100 times higher if you are unvaccinated, versus if you’re fully vaccinated and boosted.”
The state of western Virginia is still offering a number of covid treatments like the antiviral pills from Merk and Pfizer, and Dr. Marsh says that one monoclonal antibody treatment, Sotrovimab, is available to Mountain State residents.