West Virginia reported 696 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday as active cases dropped to 2,117. That’s 29 fewer active cases than were reported Wednesday, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources’ coronavirus dashboard.
To date, 6,971 West Virginians have died from COVID-19 infections, including nine deaths reported overnight. More than 84% of deaths that have occurred in the state since vaccinations became available in January 2021 have been people who are unvaccinated, per the dashboard.
As of Thursday, 178 residents were hospitalized for the virus, including seven children. That’s five more patients than were reported Wednesday. Of those hospitalized, 24 people — including one child — were in intensive care units. Eleven patients, also including one child, were receiving care on ventilators.
Nearly 49% of those hospitalized were unvaccinated. That increased to 58% unvaccinated for those in the ICU and decreased to 27% unvaccinated for those on ventilators.
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, with another 9% 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.