West Virginia COVID concerns: How will the state respond to the Delta variant?

West Virginia

WEST VIRGINIA (WDVM) — Just as he has throughout the pandemic, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice is begging his residents to get their COVID vaccine. He made a very honest announcement during his latest COVID briefing on Wednesday.

“We need to quit reading these names. We need to quit reading the deaths that occur and everything. We can stop this thing,” Gov. Justice said.

Even though the state is reporting the highly contagious Delta variant making up 74% of all COVID cases in West Virginia, according to a statement made by Dr. Clay Marsh during the briefing, Governor Justice has no intention of reinstating previously used COVID-safety precautions.

“To start down the path of shutting stuff down or doing this or doing that maybe other states feel necessary that they need to do, but absolutely we did not need to move at this point in time to those more stringent guidelines,” Gov. Justice explained.

The director of the Joint Interagency Task Force for COVID-19 Vaccines, Major General James Hoyer, took to the mic to address a disparity between federal and state covid data, an issue that is not foreign to the Department of Health and Human Resources after multiple covid-related deaths went unreported back in March.

Major General Hoyer explained there is data provided by the Centers for Disease Control that is potentially not reported to the state database. This includes individuals who received their vaccine directly from the federal government, like federal workers. He also explained there are a number of facilities in the state which went through the same vaccination process where shots were provided and administered by the federal government.

“We also have individuals to get their vaccine out of sight that information doesn’t always get back to us,” Major General Hoyer said.

The technical issues didn’t stop at the West Virginia data reporting systems. As residents rushed to register for the “Do It for Babydog” vaccination sweepstakes, which was supposed to close on Sunday, August 1st, the computer system faced technical issues, deleting previously registered residents out of the system.

Governor Justice has announced the sweepstakes will be extended through next week and registration will close on Sunday, August 8th. To register, please visit the Do It For Babydog website.

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