CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Wednesday that the state’s COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached an all-time high, during the pandemic, with 1,043 people now being treated.

State health officials called it a “big concern,” and noted that 92% of patients currently on ventilators are unvaccinated.

Officials also reported that 29 facilities(28 hospitals, one long-term care facility) have now requested staffing help from the West Virginia National Guard.

The risk of dying from Omicron is 100% higher if you are unvaccinated, Dr. Clay Marsh said. It’s “time to choose vaccination for you, your family and your children, Marsh went on. “We know, without any question, that we could really slow this thing down,” if everyone would get vaccinated, Gov. Justice followed up.

Dr. Marsh also described the proliferation of the Omicron variant, in West Virginia, based on data:

  • 12/13/21 – None reported
  • 12/25/21 – 3.2% Omicron
  • 12/29/21 – 16% Omicron
  • 01/07/22 – 50% Omicron
  • 01/15/22 – 82% Omicron
  • 01/24/22 – 94 % Omicron

COVID case numbers continue to increase in state prisons and jails, Justice reported. The numbers now stand at 667 inmates at 27 facilities, along with 209 staff.

The governor did note that the state’s County Alert map has improved, since his last briefing on Monday.

Gov. Justice also took a few moments out of the briefing to recognize the undefeated(16-0) Glenville State College women’s basketball team, which this week is ranked number 1 in the country, in the NCAA Division II poll. It’s the first time in school history that the team has been ranked that high.