CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During his COVID briefing on Wednesday, Gov. Jim Justice said that COVID in West Virginia is still improving and commended older West Virginians for a vaccination milestone.

27 counties, or half of all West Virginia counties, are now green on the DHHR’s COVID case map. No counties are red on the map. “It sure looks better,” Gov Justice said. Overall hospitalizations are down 46% since the most recent peak, while ICU patients and patients on ventilators are down 43% in the same timeframe.

And as of Feb. 23, 90 percent of those who are over 65 in the state have received at least one COVID vaccine.

Although Gov. Justice and COVID expert Dr. Marsh focused on the improvement of COVID cases in the state, Gov. Justice had to pause when reading the deaths during his briefing after seeing a younger person on the list. ” I just hate it. Great goodness alive, 34-year-old male from Raleigh County…I think, just about my kids. And how tragic that this would be with one of my children. These are people’s kids.”

Daily COVID numbers and additional information on COVID-19 can be found here.

Dr. March explained that the improvement of COVID cases is a hopeful sign for West Virginia and that the state is on the downhill side of this recent surge, but he explained that it may take a while to see the deaths fall along with the lowering daily cases.

Due to improving cases, COVID wasn’t the only focus of the briefing. He mentioned several victories for West Virginia that have happened over the last few days, including the bid for Cheat River Bridge on Corridor H, the completion of the Blackwater Falls State Park Lodge, and Glenville State becoming a university.