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West Virginia reported 4,440 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with 13,607 — 339 more than Monday — of those active, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources’ coronavirus dashboard.

A total of 5,481 West Virginians have died due to complications with the virus, with 29 of those reported overnight.

The state’s cumulative percent positivity — which tracks the rate of positive cases compared to total tests given since the beginning of the pandemic — now rests at 7%, the highest it’s been since the pandemic began, after months of consistent increases.

As of Wednesday, 843 West Virginians were hospitalized with COVID-19 — 40 more than Tuesday and 99 more than Jan. 5, per the dashboard. Of those hospitalized, 216 are in the intensive care unit and 138 — 10 more than Tuesday — are receiving care on a ventilator.

The state dashboard began reporting pediatric COVID-19 hospitalizations on Wednesday.

Based on that data, 17 children are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and three are in the ICU. No children are reported to be on a ventilator.

More than 73% of people hospitalized are unvaccinated. That increases to 87% for those in the ICU and 92% for people on ventilators.

About 55% of eligible state residents — 940,882 individuals — are fully vaccinated, according to the state dashboard. Another 9% of eligible West Virginians — 151,085 people — are partially vaccinated.

Of people fully vaccinated, 38% — 357,875 individuals — have received a booster dose of the vaccine.

Last week, a CDC advisory panel approved administering Pfizer booster doses in children ages 12 and up.

Under new guidance, booster doses can be given five months after someone receives their initial mRNA round of the vaccine, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson one-dose.

Being fully vaccinated and boosted is the most effective way to avoid serious illness, hospitalization or death from a COVID-19 infection.

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