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West Virginia Officials Repeat Pleas for COVID-19 Vaccinations, Boosters | News, Sports, Jobs

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Photo courtesy of the West Virginia Governor’s Office West Virginia Governor Jim Justice goes over the state’s COVID-19 stats for the week during a pre-Thanksgiving briefing Wednesday.

As the virus transmission rate for COVID-19 begins to rise, temperatures get colder, and families gather for Thanksgiving, West Virginia officials are at the end of their wisdom trying to encourage residents to get vaccinated and get booster shots.

“I don’t know what to do other than keep stepping in front of you and walking through this state and using tools like robocalls or whatever the idea,” Governor Jim Justice said during a COVID-19 briefing on April 16, 2019 Wednesday .

There were 6,754 active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia as of Tuesday, according to the state Department of Health and Human Resources. Active cases remained relatively flat in November, with an average daily case number of 23 days of 6,687.

The County Alert System shows 16 counties in the red for infection rates and percent virus positivity, but 25 counties are in the next worst category of orange, which means the virus spread could increase. Counties of Pleasants, Gilmer, Lewis, and Tucker are in the green, the lowest category for virus spread.

Hospital admissions for COVID-19 have been in the low 500 as of last week, with 512 hospital admissions on Wednesday. Confirmed COVID cases in government intensive care units have slipped up slightly from 171 that time last week to 183. Serious cases that require ventilators also rose from 87 last week to 104 as of Wednesday.

“By the end of the first climb, we had an almost complete drain of our hospital system of COVID patients. That is not the case during this surge, ”said James Hoyer, head of the state’s joint interagency task force on COVID-19 and vaccines. “A much larger percentage of these people are in intensive care units and on ventilators.”

Hoyer said the virus transmission rate had increased to 1.04. Any rate higher than 1 means the virus is replicating and spreading faster.

“Unfortunately, our transfer rate continues to rise,” said Hoyer. “It has risen steadily over the past 10 days. We know from past experience and our data analysis that this will lead to additional challenges. “

The state has reported 47 additional deaths since the last update, bringing the COVID-19 death toll in West Virginia to 4,817. The eldest were 95 men from Jackson and Taylor Counties and one woman from Kanawha Counties. The youngest was a 38-year-old woman from Kanawha County. The state has lost 92 residents to COVID since the judiciary’s briefing on Friday.

“I know you’re tired of hearing me say this, but the only option we know today is through vaccination,” Justice said. “It’s the only way. Upstairs you can’t think that’s bearable. I don’t know how you can bear it in the whole world that I read 92 names.”

Since the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11 was approved in early November, 63.4% of eligible West Virginians ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Since three weeks are required between the first and second dose, children in this age group are only now eligible for the second dose.

The state is nearing the one-year limit since the first COVID-19 vaccine was approved in December 2020. Since then, 73.8% of adults over 50 have been fully vaccinated, the equivalent of more than 736,000 Western Virgins. For adults over 65 years of age, this percentage is 82.7%.

However, those percentages get worse for West Virginians under the age of 50. Only 54.3% of the population between 41 and 50 years of age are fully vaccinated, followed by 47.8% of the population between 31 and 40 years of age, 40.1% of the population between the ages of 26-30 years, and 43.2% of the population between 21 and 25 years, 42.4% of the population between 16 and 20 years and 31.3% of children between 12 and 15 years. The state’s average seven-day vaccine ranges from 5,000 to 6,000 doses, with the most recent seven-day average being 5,011.

March 2022 marks the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic in West Virginia and the then declared state of emergency. Though lamenting those who refuse to get vaccinated, Justice cited his livestreaming briefings on COVID-19, the work of state health officials in getting older and high-risk residents vaccinated, and the numerous vaccination incentive lotteries as evidence of success.

“I would bet we’re getting close to 300,000 people we’ve touched in West Virginia – roughly 17% of the total population – who have had at least one vaccination since inception,” Justice said. “We win the people, that’s all … how many of them did we save their lives?”

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Pandemic

Judge blocks U.S. COVID-19 vaccine rule for health workers in 10 states

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Nov. 29 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Monday blocked a Biden government vaccine request in 10 states, ruling that the agency that made the rule requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against the coronavirus was likely theirs Has exceeded powers.

The St. Louis District Judge Matthew Schelp’s ruling prevents the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) from enforcing their medical personnel vaccination mandate until the court can hear legal challenges from the 10 states.

CMS said in a statement that it was reviewing the ruling, adding that unvaccinated health workers pose a threat to patient safety.

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The ruling marks the second legal setback for President Joe Biden, who has focused on vaccines to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, a point he emphasized on Monday amid concerns over the spread of the new variant of COVID-19 Omicron . Continue reading

A federal appeals court in New Orleans blocked a comprehensive workplace mandate earlier this month requiring companies with at least 100 employees to vaccinate or test their employees weekly. Continue reading

Republican attorneys general sued the government in early November over the CMS rule and tried to block the request on the grounds that it would worsen health staffing shortages.

Schelp, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, said CMS underestimated the “overwhelming” cost of its mandate and, by refusing to comment publicly on the rule, the agency fueled vaccine reluctance the rule is designed to counter.

Schelp also said the CMS rule changed the balance of power between the federal and state governments.

“Congress has not given clear authority to CMS to issue this politically and economically large, federalism-changing, and cross-border mandate that the Supreme Court precedent requires,” he wrote.

Schelp’s verdict was in the 10 states pending: Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Wyoming, Alaska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and New Hampshire.

On November 4th, CMS issued the preliminary final rule, which includes over 10 million people and applies to approximately 76,000 healthcare providers, including hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers.

The regulation requires healthcare facilities that all employees, volunteers, and contractors receive an initial dose of vaccine by December 6th and be fully vaccinated by January 4th. Providers who fail to comply could lose access to Medicare and Medicaid funds.

Medicare serves people 65 and over and the disabled. Medicaid serves the poor.

In addition to the CMS rule and workplace vaccine requirement, the Biden government has placed coronavirus vaccine regulations on government contractors, military personnel and federal employees, all of which will be challenged in court.

Courts have upheld mandates from private employers and state governments, which has helped increase COVID-19 vaccination rates in the United States.

On Wednesday, the Biden government announced that a total of 92% of US federal employees have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Reporting by Tom Hals in Wilmington, Delaware; additional reporting from Ahmed Aboulenein in Washington; Editing by Bill Berkrot

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Andrew Cuomo uses old briefing to push COVID-19 precautions

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Like in the old days!

Disgraced ex-governor. Andrew Cuomo shamelessly tried to resume his role as the man in charge on Sunday, using one of his famous COVID-19 press conferences to remind New Yorkers to remain vigilant amid the proliferation of the Omicron variant.

“Let’s take to heart the lessons we learned in the early, terrible days of this pandemic and not go backwards,” he said in a tweet that included a slide used during one of his pandemic briefings.

The presentation reads: “Lesson to be learned: an outbreak everywhere is an outbreak everywhere.”

“Enter [mask] in public indoor spaces, get yourself vaccinated AND your booster, take care of each other, ”added the former governor, who resigned in August amid scandals. “And be #NYTough.”

During the pandemic, Cuomo delivered daily briefings that revealed the Empire State’s COVID-19 metrics – along with meandering comments and show-off stunts.

In June 2020, Cuomo revealed a $ 415 mountain of COVID-19 that allegedly represented New York’s battle against the virus. Along with Anthony Fauci, the nation’s best infectious disease doctor, he compared the Italian compatriot and himself in a bizarre way to actors Al Pacino and Robert De Niro.

His younger brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, also dialed into the briefings to describe his symptoms of being infected with the virus.

“Let’s take heed of the lessons we learned in the terrible early days of this pandemic,” tweeted former Governor Andrew Cuomo.Twitter / @andrewcuomo

Andrew Cuomo.During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, what was then Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been recognized and recognized for his daily briefings.David Dee Delgado / Getty Images

The governor received a temporary Emmy for “Using Television Effectively During the Pandemic” in November 2020 – but the Academy quickly withdrew the award after Attorney General Letitia James discovered that Cuomo had sexually molested several women.

Cuomo’s tweet on Sunday morning came after former top aide Melissa DeRosa boldly shot her boss’s successor, Governor Kathy Hochul.

“Time to move with the times – cutting tapes and photo ops drinking maskless beer in UES bars won’t do this job,” said the former governor’s secretary on Friday night in a since-deleted tweet, referring to the current CEO’s October visit to the Manhattan Sports Bar.

Andrew Cuomo.Then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo was awarded an Emmy for “Using Television Effectively During the Pandemic” in November 2020, but the award was withdrawn when his harassment allegations came to light.Don Pollard

The scandal-ridden public service announcement of the ex-politician comes after the World Health Organization identified a new variant of COVID-19, Omicron, on Friday.

The discovery prompted Hochul to sign an executive order postponing unnecessary operations in hospitals with limited capacity.

The Omicron variant has yet to be identified in New York state, although two cases of the coronavirus variant were discovered in Canada on Sunday.

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US Covid-19: Omicron variant is a reminder that coronavirus ‘is still in control,’ medical professor says

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“But it’s pretty likely we’ll see cases,” said Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

“It should redouble our efforts to use the tools we have at our disposal, namely vaccinations and booster vaccinations – and to make sure we get them out to the rest of the world,” Collins told CNN on Sunday.

“It also means that we have to pay attention to the mitigation strategies that people are simply fed up with, such as wearing masks when you are indoors with other people who may not have been vaccinated, and to maintain this social distance,” he said.

“I know America – you are really tired of hearing these things. But we are not fed up with the virus. And it changes itself. ”

Why Omicron “looks different” than other variants

As the coronavirus continues to spread, new mutations – and new variants – are expected.

“We’ve seen a lot of variations in the last five or six months, and most of them haven’t done much. It looks different,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University School of Public Health.

The Omicron variant has an unusually high number of mutations, with more than 30 mutations in the spike protein alone, South African genome scientists said last week. Spike proteins are the structures that a virus uses to enter the cells that it attacks.

And “10 or more” of the mutations are in the receptor binding domain, which “binds to the cells in your nasopharynx and in your lungs,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday opposite NBC.

“In other words, the profile of the mutations strongly suggests that it will have an advantage in communicability,” said the director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases.

When experts looked at other variants, Jha said, it usually took several months for those strains to become dominant – in other words, the most common strain of the virus to spread to an area.

“In South Africa, this has established itself very quickly in the regions where it was found – within days to weeks instead of months,” said Jha.

“Now the number of cases in South Africa is pretty low, so there could be other reasons as well – not just because it’s more easily transferable.”

The new Omicron variant is a pandemic bowel check

Collins said it was not yet clear whether the Omicron variant was more contagious than the Delta variant.

“It certainly shows the signs that it can spread quickly,” he said. “What we don’t know is whether it can compete with Delta.”

It’s also too early to tell if the Omicron variant causes more severe illness, Collins said.

In short, “There is still a lot we don’t know about Omicron,” said epidemiologist and infectious disease expert Dr. Celine Gounder.

“We’re still learning,” said Gounder on Sunday. “As we said very early in the pandemic, pandemics are not about panic. It is about guidelines, protocols and practices. And in this case that means characterizing the virus. “

Do not be surprised by renewed Covid-19 restrictions, says the expert

A growing number of countries have confirmed cases of the Omicron variant. Canada joined that list on Sunday when health officials confirmed two cases in Ottawa, Ontario. The Omicron variant is spreading across EuropeBoth people recently traveled from Nigeria and are in isolation, Canadian health officials said.

If the Omicron variant isn’t available in the US yet, it will be “soon,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“It will go around the world. This is how it looks,” said Schaffner on Saturday.

And that could lead to a return to stricter Covid-19 containment efforts.

“I think we are indeed facing a phase with a lot more masks, a lot more social distancing and more restrictions and vaccination requirements,” said Schaffner.

News of the variant spread as Americans filled airports near pre-pandemic levels for Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday season: The Transportation Security Administration said it screened about 2.3 million people at airports across the country on Wednesday which makes it the busiest day to see security checkpoints since March 2020.

All the more reason to get vaccinated or boosted

About 59% of Americans are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and about 19% of those fully vaccinated have received a booster dose, according to CDC data. NIH Director: New Variation

As vaccine manufacturers test their vaccinations against the new Omicron variant, health experts said it is important for everyone to get a Covid-19 vaccine or a booster vaccine now.

“The most important thing people can do now to protect themselves is to get vaccinated if you are not vaccinated,” said Gounder. “If it turns out to be an immune defense variant, it may also be beneficial to receive an additional dose or a booster vaccination.”

Fauci gave similar advice: “If there was ever a reason to be vaccinated who were vaccinated and those who weren’t vaccinated, it is now,” he told NBC.

“When you’re six months or more away from your second dose of an mRNA (vaccine) – either the Pfizer or the Moderna – you get a boost. “

Fauci said he believes the current vaccines – and the booster doses in particular – will at least help something against the Omicron variant.

“When you get a boost, your antibody levels go way above the maximum after the second dose,” Fauci told NBC.

“And that’s why, even with variants like Omicron, we feel that when you get boosted, you’re getting antibody levels high enough that you can probably reach at least a certain level – and maybe a lot – Protection from it. “

Moderna said it is testing its Covid-19 vaccine’s ability to neutralize Omicron and data is expected in the coming weeks.

The company said it is also testing a larger dose booster and an Omicron-specific booster in case the current vaccine and booster don’t work well enough against the new variant.

When scientists determine that an Omicron-specific vaccine dose is required, “we think we could have an Omicron-specific vaccine booster available for testing within weeks to maybe two to three months,” said Dr. Paul Burton, Chief Medical Officer of Moderna Sunday.

BioNTech, the German company that has partnered with Pfizer to make a Covid-19 vaccine, is also studying the effects of Omicron on its vaccine. The dates are expected in the coming weeks.

Johnson & Johnson is also testing the effectiveness of its vaccine against Omicron.

Moderna said the Omicron variant could be challenging.

“The combination of mutations presents a significant potential risk of accelerating the decline in natural and vaccine-induced immunity,” the company said on Friday.

But Jha said he doesn’t think the new variant “makes vaccines unusable”.

“I think that’s extremely unlikely,” he said. “The question is, is there a tiny hit to vaccine effectiveness or is there a big hit?”

“A couple of weeks of uncertainty”

With the Omicron variant, the world is in a

Before scientists can say how well the current vaccines against Omicron might work, “we have to go through a few more weeks of uncertainty,” Burton said.

“There are three questions to which we really need answers: How transferable is this variant? How heavy is she? And will the antibodies produced in response to the current vaccines be effective? And we won’t know (answer to) the last question for a couple of weeks, “Burton told CNN on Sunday.

“But what we do know is that the best protection is to get vaccinated. If you stand on the fence when you haven’t been vaccinated, get vaccinated. And now everyone over 18 in this country is entitled to at least one Refresher. So if you are eligible for a boost now, you will get a boost, too, ”he said.

“At least that way, we know you’re getting the first line of critical protection. And then of course there are other, simpler things you can do – hand washing, social distancing, possibly wearing masks.Two together, for now – until we know exactly what’s going on – will be crucial on our line of defense . ”

“The virus is still in control … tighten your seat belts”

With or without the Omicron tribe, the US is still struggling with the Delta variant.

Covid-19 hospital stays in 16 states increased more than 50% in the past week compared to the previous week, according to the U.S. Department of Health.

“I think we just have to remember that the virus is still in control. I don’t care about your Covid fatigue, ”said Schaffner.

“We’re going to have to deal with this very, very seriously. … Tighten your seat belts.”

Contributors to this report are Dakin Andone, John Bonifield, Jacqueline Howard, Virginia Langmaid, Michael Nedelman, Christina Maxouris, and Kaitlan Collins of CNN.

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