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More new COVID-19 cases were reported in West Virginia over the past week than any other since the pandemic began, according to the Department of Health and Human Resources’ dashboard.

An average of 3,307 new cases have been reported daily over the past seven days. The previous high was an average of 1,978 cases a day for the week of Sept. 10-16 last year.

As of Friday, there were 17,364 active COVID-19 cases — an increase of 2,547 from Thursday – with 5,061 of those reported overnight.

Deaths tied to COVID-19 totaled 5,516, according to the dashboard, with 13 reported overnight.

Hospitalizations totaled 846 on Friday, a decrease of 15 from Thursday. Nineteen of those patients are children, per the dashboard. Of those hospitalized, 206 are in an intensive care unit and 130 are receiving care on a ventilator. Three children are hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the dashboard.

A majority of those hospitalized — 72% — are unvaccinated. That increases to 86% for those in the ICU and 91% for people on a ventilator.

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

To date, about 55% of eligible residents — 942,475 individuals — are fully vaccinated. Vaccination rates are lowest among children ages 5 to 11, where 11% have been fully vaccinated.

As of last week, booster doses are available for anyone age 12 and older. Booster doses can be administered five months following someone receiving their initial mRNA round of the vaccine, or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson one-shot.

As of Friday, 38% of eligible residents have received a booster dose.

— Staff reports

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