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COVID-19 cases continue to climb in state

It has been a year since West Virginia had its first death related to COVID-19, and Gov. Jim Justice said Monday at his regular press briefing the state has had 378 new cases since Friday, bringing the number of active cases to 6,252.

There have also been 10 new virus-related deaths since Friday, including an 82-year-old man from Monongalia County. West Virginia’s COVID-19 death toll is now 2,638, the governor said.

The average age of a person who dies from COVID-19-related causes in the state is 77.

“This disease attacks the elderly,” said Justice, who said a prayer and held a brief moment of silence to honor those who have died.

“We need to continue to get everyone vaccinated.”

Raleigh County, in the southern part of the state, joined Berkeley County, in the eastern panhandle, as the state’s two red counties. Justice said 222 people are hospitalized with COVID-19 complications and 83 people are in intensive care.

There are outbreaks at seven churches and four outbreaks at long-term care facilities. Four inmates and nine staff members at state correctional facilities have confirmed cases of the virus.

Justice said the state will begin offering vaccines to family members, as well as staff at long-term care facilities. Also, vaccines are now available at Walmart through the Federal Pharmacy Program – with a reservation. To find a participating vaccine partner near you, to go

The state is also working to offer the vaccine at churches, and the vaccine is available to any resident 16 and older.

To date, the state has given out more than 796,000 vaccines and dosed 900 employees and their family members at the Toyota plant in Putnam County,

“We were the first in the world, the world to offer vaccines at a Toyota plant,” he said.