As previously announced, Phase 1 of vaccine distribution includes those at the highest risk of serious complications from COVID-19, as well as individuals who are essential frontline workers fighting this pandemic. Phase 1 is broken down into four subsections:
Phase 1-A: Hospital, long-term care facility and staff, and pharmacies.
Phase 1-B: Community infrastructure and emergency response, public health officials, and first responders.
Phase 1-C: Other healthcare workers, like home health providers (Initial emphasis on individuals age 50 and above).
Phase 1-D: Teachers and education staff in higher education and K-12 and other sectors for critical services for our state, such as utility and transportation workers (Initial emphasis on individuals age 50 and above).
Phase 2 of vaccine distribution includes the general populace. Current estimates indicate that Phase 2 may begin as early as March 2021.
Phase 2 is broken down into three subsections:
Phase 2-A will include those who are most vulnerable in the general population. An initial emphasis will be placed on individuals over age 60, beginning with the oldest and working backward. From there priority will then be given to those over age 50 with pre-existing health problems with a note from a physician.
Phase 2-B will focus on those who did not receive a vaccine in Phase 1-C and Phase 1-D, again prioritizing those age 50 and above.
Phase 2-C will be the point in time where all West Virginians who want a vaccine will be able to receive one.
Gov. Justice also announced that yesterday, a letter was published that was signed by over 30 West Virginia health leaders from diverse healthcare fields, including medicine, pharmacy, nursing, physical therapy, public health, hospitals, and long-term care.
The letter says, in-part: “We want to be clear: We will get vaccinated as soon as it is our turn, and we will recommend it as soon as possible to our family members and patients based on guidance from the CDC. We trust the process, and we think you should, too.”
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia has now officially exceeded 1,000 COVID-19-related deaths.
“I never, ever would’ve dreamt in a million years that I would be sitting in front of you reading the 1,000th death in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “I surely to goodness hate like crazy that I have sat here and have read, now, West Virginia’s 1,000th death.”
The current number of active cases in the state is now 21,260, which is up slightly from 21,076 active cases during the Governor’s previous COVID-19 briefing on Monday.
West Virginia has recorded 1,141 new positive cases over the past 24 hours, and 8,448 new positive cases in the past seven days.
A new record high of 766 hospitalizations has been reached, with 197 of those patients currently in the ICU.
The cumulative percent of positive cases is now 4.18%, up from 4.10% on Monday and the highest such rate seen in West Virginia since April 21, 2020.
Read more about the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Plan (here)