CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – After a jump from only three confirmed cases of the Omicron variant to 18 since last Thursday, December 23rd, 2021, Gov. Jim Justice called for West Virginians to continue being mindful of the spread of Covid-19.

Gov. Justice held another news briefing today to update the public on the State’s latest pandemic response efforts. During the briefing, Justice announced that in the time since his previous COVID-19 briefing last Thursday, the number of Omicron variant cases in West Virginia has jumped from three to 18.

“These numbers aren’t big yet, but it’s a big increase in just a few days,” Gov. Justice said. “We really haven’t seen Omicron in West Virginia yet, but we know it’s sweeping across the nation right now.”

The Governor continued, saying that more than 500,000 new cases of COVID-19 were identified across the United States yesterday alone.

“If we had 500,000 new cases in one day, who knows where we’re going with this,” Gov. Justice said. “Hear me when I say you need to be vaccinated so badly, and if you’ve already been vaccinated, you need to have your booster shot.

“This thing will surely skyrocket in West Virginia. You have to protect yourself.”