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W.Va. health officials: variant reason to be “vigilant”

Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 5:22 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WTAP) - Much of the questioning at the governor’s COVID-19 briefing Monday dealt with news late Friday that three cases of the UK variant were detected in North Central West Virginia.

State health officials noted the variant has now been found in 44 states.

They point out, while the variants have been found to be treatable by the existing vaccines, they will remain a threat until the majority of the population receives shots.

And they added continuing the current safeguards is more important than ever to combat the virus.

”People should be not scared of this; this is just part of the unfolding of this virus,” said Dr. Clay Marsh of West Virginia University. “But we have the capabilites to track this, which is important, and we’re tracking this actively now.”

“We’ve seen three so far in West Virginia, so it’s possible we’ll see more in the state,” added State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad. “With that being said, we want people to wear their masks and take it seriously.”

Retired West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General James Hoyer, who oversees rollout of the vaccines, predicted they could be available to the general public between the months of March and October.

430,000 total doses have been delivered to the state so far, with more than 100% distributed.

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