West Virginia grapples with delta surge as vaccinations stall


Once a national leader early in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, West Virginia now has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country and is seeing a rapid jump in cases, The New York Times reported Sept. 12.

Early this year, West Virginia outpaced most states in administering COVID-19 vaccines. As of Jan. 13, the state had administered 64 percent of its distributed vaccines, second only to North Dakota at 74 percent. 

However, only 39.9 percent of West Virginia's population was fully vaccinated as of Sept. 13, state data shows. In comparison, Vermont had the highest vaccination rate of all states at 68.6 percent. 

Now, West Virginia is facing a serious surge in new cases and hospitalizations. The state reported 2,319 new cases Sept. 9, surpassing the previous single-day case record of 2,164 cases set Dec. 31, according to the state's COVID-19 data dashboard. As of Sept. 12, the state's seven-day new case average was 1,760, up from 23 average daily cases on July 5.

COVID-19 hospitalizations also hit a record high this week, with the state reporting 852 patients as of Sept. 13. The previous record of 818 COVID-19 hospitalizations was set Jan. 5.


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