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Officials: Delta variant cases at 22, with more expected

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — Twenty-two cases of the delta variant have been recorded so far by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources in its Tuesday morning pandemic update.

State health officials have said the delta mutation is expected to become the predominant strain in the state, following the rest of the nation and the world. Infecting non-vaccinated people, the variant is the most severe and infectious of the strains of the original COVID-19 coronavirus.

Vaccinations can protect someone from the variant’s most serious complications, said Dr. Clay Marsh, coronavirus leader in West Virginia. Most if not all deaths are of those who have not been vaccinated, according to Marsh.

“We know that the delta variant is a preventable virus infection,” he said.

According to the latest variant counts in the department’s pandemic update, the state has found 2,408 cases of the United Kingdom variant, seven cases of the South Africa variant, 22 cases of the Brazil variant and 22 of the delta, also called the India variant because it originated there.

None of the delta cases have been found so far in local counties. The 22 cases in West Virginia are six in Monongalia County, five in Berkeley County, two each in Greenbrier and Jefferson counties and one each in Braxton, Hampshire, Harrison, Kanawha, Marion, McDowell and Wyoming counties.

Variant counts in local counties are: Wood, 36 U.K., 3 Brazil; Calhoun, 9 U.K.; Doddridge, 17 U.K.; Gilmer, 19 U.K.; Jackson, 26 U.K.; Pleasants, 19 U.K.; Ritchie, 13 U.K.; Roane, 12 U.K.; Tyler, 5 U.K.; Wetzel, 37 U.K.; Wirt, 9 U.K.

No deaths were reported Tuesday since the last update on Monday. Total deaths since the pandemic began was 2,919 on Tuesday.

Active cases were at 1,098 on Tuesday with 82 new cases reported in the 24-hour period from Monday to Tuesday morning.

Eighty-five people are in a hospital in West Virginia, with 33 in intensive care and 14 on ventilators.

Seven counties are yellow, the second least severe in terms of infection, on the County Alert System — Hancock, Taylor, Putnam, Cabell, Wayne, Mingo and Nicholas counties. Webster is the only gold county, midway on the map. All other counties are green, the lowest level.

Residents 12 and older are eligible for a vaccination. Clinics will be held 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and July 29 at the Pavilion in City Park and noon to 4 p.m. Friday and July 30 at the Mid-Ohio Valley Transit Authority on Juliana Street in Parkersburg. Both the two-shot Pfizer vaccine, for ages 12 and up, and the single-shot Johnson & Johnson, ages 18 and up, will be offered.

More information about the vaccines and the location of other vaccination sites can be found online at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling 1-833-734-0965.

West Virginians ages 12 and older who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can register for the “Do It for Babydog: Save a Life, Change your Life” vaccine sweepstakes at doitforbabydog.wv.gov. The next drawing is today.

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