CHARLESTON — The persevering with improve in COVID-19 circumstances in West Virginia might point out the surge the remainder of the nation has been experiencing has reached the Mountain State.
That was mentioned in Friday’s on-line briefing by Gov. Jim Justice, who additionally introduced a rise in tiers for the Public Employees Insurance Agency to maintain state staff from getting increased premiums and deductibles on account of raises accepted by the Legislature.
James Hoyer, director of the state’s Joint Interagency Task Force responding to the virus, stated earlier this week that the latest unfold was probably linked to spring break and different latest travels. During Friday’s on-line briefing by Justice, Hoyer stated officers imagine the state is “starting to see the front end, for us, of that national surge.”
That’s been attributed to extra transmissible subvariants of the omicron mutation of the virus. Hoyer stated the latest depend of the BA.2.12.1 subvariant was not instantly out there Friday however he would supply an replace subsequent week.
Hoyer stated the coronavirus’ transmission charge lately has been between 1 and 1.1. Any quantity increased than 1 signifies it’s replicating and spreading extra quickly.
“We know that coming out of that, we will see some additional challenges over the next few weeks,” Hoyer stated.
Over the final week, hospitalizations have remained between 100 and 130.
“The hospital numbers continue to move up slightly, but remain relatively stable,” Hoyer stated.
West Virginia has had 6,893 deaths attributed to the virus for the reason that begin of the pandemic within the spring of 2020. They are included within the 1 million deaths marked by the United States this week.
Hoyer tried to place that quantity in perspective by sharing that the ten American wars with the very best variety of fight casualties mixed — from World War II to the Mexican-American War — totaled 659,287 deaths.
“You would still have to add 340,713 to that number to reach the million people we’ve lost to COVID in just the last two years,” he stated.
Justice famous the sobering statistics whereas making an attempt to take a look at some constructive features, together with that the state had recorded simply two deaths since Monday’s briefing (9 others from earlier within the 12 months had been found on account of an ongoing knowledge reconciliation with loss of life certificates) and that extra residents continued to get their first dose of a COVID vaccine, together with 142 Thursday.
“How many of those people now are not going to end up on this list?” Justice stated, indicating the individuals whose deaths had been attributed to the virus.
The governor touched on plenty of non-COVID-related subjects, together with his path that PEIA tiers be elevated by $2,700 so no staff receiving the upcoming 5 p.c elevate can be pressured into a brand new tier and must pay extra. Without the change, greater than 15,000 state staff would have been “adversely impacted,” in accordance with a launch from the governor’s workplace.
Justice stated he has pledged to not improve PEIA premiums.
Earlier within the day, Justice issued a proclamation declaring Friday Children of Fallen Patriots Day. The day is acknowledged throughout the nation “to honor the children whose lives were forever altered because of their parents’ service to this nation and our state,” stated Ted Diaz, secretary of the Department of Veterans Assistance.
Justice additionally mentioned plans to make an announcement a few new part of the Coalfields Expressway Friday afternoon in Welch.
“The Coalfields Expressway brings … the world to southern West Virginia,” he stated.