MORGANTOWN — The Department of Health and Human Resources launched a new vaccine information tab on its coronavirus dashboard Monday.
The Vaccine Summary tab – it can be found at https://dhhr.wv.gov/COVID-19/Pages/default.aspx – details supplies of first and second doses received and administered along with some graphs and charts and some demographic data.
Gov. Jim Justice announced the new tab. DHHR Secretary Bill Crouch said the information is offered in response to public demand. With the addition of the new tab, the overview panel has been changed to not show total doses received but to show the number of first and second doses administered. This reflects a shift of focus to tracking people getting fully vaccinated, Crouch said.
The vaccine summary shows that all 109,440 first doses received have either been administered or attached to a name for imminent administration. Of the total, 92,070 have been put into arms – an 84.1% rate. For second doses, 16,575 have been received and, as with the first, all have been injected or assigned. The current administration number is 13,468 – 81.3%.
COVID-19 Czar Clay Marsh noted that West Virginia ranks ninth per-capita nationally for COVID testing and 1st for getting vaccines into arms.
With the post-Christmas surge expected to put more people into hospitals in the next two to four weeks, he said, “Every vaccine we get into these folks in our most vulnerable categories, the more we are going to save lives.”
He reviewed some of the vaccine dashboard numbers. “Over 80% I really quite unbelievable,” he said. ‘Over 80% is really a benchmark that I don’t believe anybody else can meet at this point.”
Justice got to tout West Virginia’s progress on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street program Monday morning. He devoted part of the briefing to playing the segment. “Now, what we need in West Virginia, we need more vaccines,” he said.
Justice answered a question about the state serving as a possible vccine program model to others by explaining his concerns about leaving vaccines sitting on shelves while state leaders spent time working out a plan. “If I would say how many cows are out there in that field, count the egg-sucking cows, don’t count the cows’ legs and divide by four, just count the cows.”
Justice announced the hours for the statewide COVID info line. The number is 833-734-0965and it can be reached 8 a.m. To 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
There will be 12 Operation SOW – for those age 80 and up – vaccine clinics this week, he said, Details will be announced Tuesday.
The Dominion Post asked if there’s a timeline yet to include those 70 and up in Operation SOW. Justice didn’t have a date but said it will be “as quickly as we possibly can,” depending on supply. “We’re the only state screaming for additional vaccines now. … The faster we can get them the faster we’ll get them out there.”
Justice said he will be signing an executive order regarding the previously announced plan to allow schools to reopen Jan. 19. Additional guidance will be published by state Board of Education after its Wednesday meeting.
As previously reported, all K-8 schools in any map color will be allowed to reopen, if the local board so chooses, he said. High schools in red counties will remain virtual. But he’s expecting the state’s medical experts to advise him on expanding the orange zone to allow more flex for high schools.
An red-zone infection rate of 25 cases per 100,000 is relatively low compared to other states, he said. The current range for orange is 10 to 24.9 cases. He expects to announce more on that on Wednesday.
On school sports, Justice said winter sports games will begin March 3. That date comes after consultation with WVSSAC and educators. Winter sports practices may begin Feb. 14 to allow for the required 14 practices before teams play.
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