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West Virginia reported 647 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday as active cases decreased to 2,196. That’s 76 fewer active cases than were reported Wednesday, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources’ coronavirus dashboard.

To date, 6,998 West Virginians have died from COVID-19, with one of those deaths reported overnight. More than 84% of deaths that have occurred in the state since vaccinations became available in January 2021 have been in people who are not vaccinated, per the dashboard.

As of Thursday, 201 residents were hospitalized for the virus, including 10 children. That’s 13 more patients than were reported Wednesday and the first time since March 22 that hospitalizations exceeded 200. Of those hospitalized, 36 patients were in intensive care units — including four children — and seven people were receiving care on ventilators.

More than 50% of those hospitalized are unvaccinated, per the dashboard. That increased to 53% unvaccinated for those in the ICU. Per the dashboard, all seven patients on ventilators have been vaccinated. It’s unclear whether those considered “fully vaccinated” have received recommended booster doses, as the state does not report hospitalization data with that information.

Being fully vaccinated and boosted is still the most effective way to prevent severe illness, hospitalization or death from COVID-19.

About 57% of eligible West Virginians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while another 9% report being partially vaccinated. Of those fully vaccinated, about 50% have received a booster dose.

Booster doses are available to anyone 5 and older who previously received an initial round of an mRNA vaccine at least five months ago, or the Johnson & Johnson one-shot two months ago. Second booster doses are recommended for individuals over 50 years old and for those with underlying conditions that make them more susceptible to the virus.

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