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West Virginia governor "extremely unwell" after positive COVID test

CBS News logo CBS News 1/13/2022 Victoria Albert

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said Tuesday night that he's feeling "extremely unwell" after testing positive for COVID-19. The 70-year-old governor, who said he is fully vaccinated and boosted, is receiving a monoclonal antibody treatment to help alleviate his symptoms. 

In a statement from his office, the Republican governor said he woke up Tuesday morning with congestion and a cough, and quickly developed a headache and fever. Though he tested negative on a rapid test, his blood pressure and heart rate were "extremely elevated" and he had a high fever, he said. Later that day, a PCR test came back positive. 

Justice is isolating at home, according to the statement. His wife, Cathy Justice, tested negative on Tuesday night. His positive test came just a day before he was slated to deliver the annual State of the State address, which will now be distributed as a written message. 

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice on October 13, 2020, in Morgantown, West Virginia. / Credit: Kathy Batten / AP © Provided by CBS News West Virginia Governor Jim Justice on October 13, 2020, in Morgantown, West Virginia. / Credit: Kathy Batten / AP

"While I was surprised that my test results came back positive, I'm thankful to the Lord above that I've been vaccinated, I've been boosted, and that I have an incredible support system, especially my loving family," Justice said in the statement.


Video: News Conference: Gov. Hochul's Jan. 7 COVID Update (CBS New York)

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The governor's office did not immediately respond to CBS News' request for comment on how Justice was feeling Wednesday morning. 

The state's COVID-19 czar, Dr. Clay Marsh, said he has "full confidence" Justice will recover quickly because he was vaccinated and boosted

"Without the immunity afforded by those vaccines, his outcome could be much worse," Marsh said in the statement. "I continue to strongly encourage all West Virginians to take the COVID-19 vaccine and get boosted when it's time to do so." 

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