CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia governor Jim Justice says the South African variant of COVID-19 has now been found in the Mountain State.
Justice says the case was reported in Berkeley County. The variant is one of the most transmissible COVID-19 variants.
“This is an extremely transmissible variant, so it is super important to stand up about wearing your mask,” Justice said.
The governor and Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh are urging West Virginians, especially younger West Virginians, to get the COVID-19 vaccine. They say the transmission of the virus is fastest among those in younger age groups, and getting these groups vaccinated will prevent spread amongst themselves and to older West Virginians.
Marsh also says the younger age ranges could be more susceptible to the effects of the virus variants, such as the UK or South African variants.
The governor urged West Virginians to get tested for COVID-19 if they start to feel ill. The state has received 2,530,726 confirmatory lab results throughout the pandemic as of Friday morning. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources has confirmed 145,299 COVID-19 cases since March 17, 2020. A total of 7,084 cases are currently active.
“If by chance you’re positive and we catch it early enough the antibodies will save your life,” Justice said.