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State not quite over the omicron hump yet, Justice and team warn; omicron boosters expected after Labor Day

MORGANTOWN – Active COVID cases and hospital numbers are dipping slightly but Gov. Jim Justice and his team warned that West Virginia is not over the hump yet.

The state has just seen a round of fairs and festivals, and kids are back in school, Justice said. “The odds of this thing cranking up and getting worse than it is today is pretty profound.”

Active cases stood at 3,120 on Monday, with 2,162 new cases, 328 hospitalized, 57 in ICUs and 12 on ventilators.

COVID-19 czar Dr. Clay Marsh said there is evidence COVID is plateauing across the country and he expects that to follow suit here. In the next few days to a week he said the state should see a leveling in hospital numbers and then reductions.

The the BA.5 variant is still responsible for about 90% of cases. And at Walgreens nationally, they’re seeing a 34.6% positivity rate, with 42% in West Virginia.

Joint Interagency Task Force Director Gen. James Hoyer said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will meet to approve the bivalent booster targeting omicron on Thursday and Friday, and after Labor Day those boosters will start rolling out.

The JIATF has just finished the second step of its bivalent booster pre-ordering and has an authorization for just shy of 50,000 doses, with long-term care facilities, residents over 65, the immunocompromised, healthcare workers and first responders first in line.

Hoyer also warned that West Virginia is not over the hump yet.

“We will be watching closely because we will certainly see a surge going forward.”

When the boosters are OK’d, he said, residents should check the online vaccine calculator to get updates on their eligibility.

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