CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials on Monday for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced he has directed the West Virginia National Guard and West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources to immediately begin working alongside local health departments to activate “aggressive testing” efforts in all Red and Orange counties across the state.
“We all know that we’re still having counties that are struggling with cases. So we need to do something about it,” Justice said. “And to be able to do something about it, we’ve got to know where the problems are. You’ll never, ever get out of any hole unless you know how deep in the hole you are.
“So how do we really find out exactly where the problems are and what to do? We test,” Gov. Justice said. “The more we test, the more we know.”
According to a news release from his office, the governor explained that, as part of his “aggressive testing efforts,” any time a county moves to Red or Orange status, free testing will be set up in that county within 24 hours. Testing in these counties will be offered on a continual basis until their numbers improve.
Any time a county moves to Gold status, at least one free testing event per week will be held in that county until their numbers improve.
“Additional testing will significantly help your numbers when it comes to lowering your positivity rate,” Gov. Justice said. “A perfect example is Cabell County. By having additional testing, they moved all the way into the Green.
“I encourage all kids as well as adults to go get tested,” Gov. Justice continued. “It will also help all of us because it will help identify some situation where we have an asymptomatic person, with no idea that they have this disease, but they got it and they’re walking around, spreading it to others.”
COVID-19 case numbers update
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reported “modest improvement” in certain case metrics.
According to a news release from Justice’s office, as of Monday, the daily positivity rate of cases has dropped to 2.03 percent. Additionally, a the total number of hospitalized patients has decreased since the end of last week.
Meanwhile, West Virginia’s statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission – also known as Rt – has improved to 1.08; the 37th-best such rate in the country.
West Virginia continues to outperform the national average – as well as the rates of all of its bordering states – in percentage of population tested, percentage of population positive, and percentage of positive test results.
However, Gov. Justice also reported Monday the state had once again reached a record high in active COVID-19 cases with 3,544.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.