West Virginia residents aged 16 and older are now eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, Gov. Jim Justice said during a news briefing Friday.
The move comes due to rising numbers of the virus in the state. There have been 6,642 active cases detected throughout West Virginia, with 420 new positive cases reported within the last 24 hours, Justice said.
The daily Covid-19 positivity rate is now 3.48%, and the cumulative positivity continues at 5.25%, the governor explained.
Seven people have died from the coronavirus since Wednesday, bringing the total death toll to approximately 2,700, Justice stated.
The governor reemphasized the importance of getting tested after noting three counties – Jefferson County, Berkeley County, and Raleigh County – are now in the red zone due to increasing Covid-19 cases.
West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said health officials have seen a rise in the variant first identified in the United Kingdom within the positive cases, describing the variant as “about 50%” more lethal and infectious. Specific numbers for the variant first identified in the UK will be announced next week, Marsh stated.
500,000 West Virginians have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, marking a new milestone for the state, the governor stated.
He said 518,543 first doses and 342,851 second doses have been administered, bringing the total number of people who have been vaccinated to 861,394.
“We’re at 92.6% administration rate right now for our first and second doses. We want to absolutely be at 100%,” Justice said.
Note: These numbers were released by the state’s public health agency, and may not line up exactly in real time with CNN’s database drawn from Johns Hopkins University, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.