West Virginia has only found 12 cases of the coronavirus delta variant, but officials say there are likely many more

West Virginia

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CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WDVM) — West Virginia’s delta variant case count had been frozen at 12 for around a week as of Tuesday — even with the recent Fourth of July weekend, the numbers didn’t budge. But Gov. Jim Justice’s team doesn’t want the public to take this record at face value.

Dr. Clay Marsh, West Virginia’s COVID-19 czar, said this pause in the case reporting is most likely due to a testing error.

“Even though we haven’t been able to document, using our genetic sequencing, more positive cases, we do know that this variant is very likely spreading in our state,” said Dr. Marsh.

And Justice is heavily warning the public about how underestimating the number of delta variant cases could be dangerous for the mountain state.

“‘Sounds like we haven’t had any increase in delta cases, and so really and truly we’re okay,'” the governor said, parroting the belief some of his residents hold. “Don’t buy into that.”

According to Dr. Marsh, a national DNA sequencing company said around 40 percent of new cases are likely due to the delta variant. “It’s just a matter of time until we’ll see West Virginia going from almost all the United Kingdom variant that we’re seeing today, to almost all the delta variant.”

Every person infected by the delta variant is expected to infect five to eight more people. This is much higher than the original strain, which is expected to spread to two to three more people.

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