Health officials are responding to reports that the Governor of Justice has COVID 19

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Health officials are responding to reports that the Governor of Justice has COVID 19

He is isolating and receiving monoclonal antibodies.

The governor has said he is glad he is vaccinated and has received a booster.

They say it’s not shocking that the governor has contracted the virus.

And these health officials echo that sentiment.

Story Highlights

  • Governor Jim Justice has said he is feeling “extremely unwell.”

  • Today in Wheeling, a doctor and a public health official reacted to the news.

“He’s actively out there working,” said Howard Gamble, Ohio County Health administrator. “He’s not in his living room, doing everything from the couch. So he’s been exposed.”

“It appears most of us will either be infected or affected by this virus,” said Dr. Clark Milton, corporate health director at WVU Medicine Wheeling Hospital.

“The good news is, he did get tested,” said Gamble. “He got tested properly. And then he took action. Rather than saying it’s just my stuffy nose or I always get this. And that’s a problem we have. You have symptoms in the middle of a pandemic? You get tested.” Anti-vaccine individuals say it proves the vaccine doesn’t work, since the governor was vaccinated and boosted and still got sick.

Health officials strongly disagree. “The vaccine was intended to prevent serious disease, hospitalization and death,” said Dr. Milton. “And it has. If you’re unvaccinated with the Omicron, there is a 10% chance you will be more symptomatic, a 17-time chance you’ll go into the hospital and a 20-time chance you may die.”

They say, if anything, this reinforces the need to get vaccinated. “Whether it’s measles, polio, COVID, flu, there’s a reason why we have a vaccine for it,” said Gamble. “And that is to prevent more disability and death.”

He then took a PCR test that showed he was positive. Officials say if you have symptoms and a rapid test shows you as negative, it’s a good idea to get a PCR test to make sure.

The governor tested negative at first on a rapid test. “There’s no guarantee that you’re protected,” said Dr. Milton. “And this Omicron variant is so contagious that it just shows that all of us need to be vigilant. If we’re not vaccinated, we should be. And we should be masking, social distancing and doing the appropriate behaviors.”