CHARLESTON, W.Va. – As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the state, officials warned that the bottom line “is that unvaccinated West Virginians are delaying critical care for other fellow West Virginians. We can’t accept that. We’ve got to take care of our fellow West Virginians,” Ret. Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer said during Gov. Jim Justice’s briefing Tuesday.

Hoyer made that statement after reporting that hospital systems in the state are behind on procedures, in hundreds of cases.

“Are we gonna say: well, that’s just the way it is? Do not let this become something you’re just numb about,” Gov. Justice said.

There are now 79 Omicron cases in the state, Justice reported. “It’s going to get way worse than this,” he said. As their use rises, home tests aren’t being counted in state COVID data, health officials said.

With COVID treatments in shorter supply, full vaccination, along a booster shot, is the only viable protection currently, Hoyer said.

“The booster shot is so important it’s unbelievable,” said Justice. People who haven’t gotten it are “asleep at the switch,” the governor went on.

Justice also said that it is not time for a mask mandate in the state.