As COVID-19 surges in West Virginia, more federal help is doubtful

West Virginia

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — While 2,800 new people have been vaccinated since Monday, it isn’t happening fast enough, according to West Virginia Governor Jim Justice. The Mountain State logged more than 1,400 new cases since yesterday. The state is closing in on 18,000 active cases, and the number of Delta variants has passed 1,100. The governor says there is a spike in cases of young people, over age 12, who’ve not been vaccinated.

“You got to help me. You got to help me get to get the people vaccinated. It’s the only way out of this. And this thing is doing anything but getting better. It continues to get worse,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.

26 of the state’s 55 counties now have mask mandates for schools, but Governor Justice says he’ll leave those decisions to local school boards. Meanwhile, task force members spoke with the U.S. Surgeon General Tuesday, trying to get third vaccine doses for many West Virginians, and not wait until the federal distribution date of Sept. 20.

“We’ve got to move faster. But at this point in time, as the governor points out, we don’t have any definitive answer. And I think a lot of it relates down to federal liability,” said Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer (Ret.), Joint Inter-Agency Task Force.

As of today, 3,106 people have died from COVID-19 in West Virginia. 52 of of 55 Counties remain red or orange on the state alert map, signaling high COVID-19 transmission.

“Not all of the COVID numbers are bad. There are now just 14 outbreaks at long-term care facilities, and only four outbreaks at churches, both numbers have dropped significantly,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.

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