Governor stresses free testing opportunities

Staff Report

CHARLESTON — During a briefing this week, Gov. Justice once again called on all West Virginians to make more of an effort to take advantage of the numerous free testing opportunities that are currently being provided across the state.

“We have got to go get tested. The more we test, the better off we’ll be,” Justice said. “We’ve got to do everything in our power that we possibly can to stop this thing. We’ve made an incredible financial pledge to be able to do all the testing we have available right now. We have the West Virginia National Guard, the DHHR, and the local health departments – all those people out there on the front lines, working their ever-loving tails off – we’ve just got to show up. That’s all there is to it.”

According to a new release from Gov. Justice’s office, free testing sites will be available in nearly every West Virginia county before the holiday season begins, with events scheduled within 45 counties between now and Friday, Nov. 20.

“I don’t blow smoke at anyone,” Justice said. “I am telling you that we have to get more people tested. The manpower and the funding that we’ve invested to make this a possibility is unbelievable. We need you to take advantage of this opportunity, and we need community leaders like teachers, superintendents, coaches, the media, and everybody to encourage more and more people to get tested. It’s easy and it tells us so much that we need to know to slow this thing.”

Also on Wednesday, Justice offered an outline of the 45 counties that have upcoming free testing events scheduled for the near future through the Governor’s Aggressive Testing initiative.

This testing is available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals. Proof of insurance is not required. Attendees should bring identification, such as a driver’s license or proof of address, to help in returning test results. Those under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Each county reaching Red or Orange status in the DHHR’s County Alert System map (Click “County Alert System” tab) is required to set up at least one free testing site within the same day. Each county reaching Gold status is required to set up at least one free testing site within 48 hours.

Justice also offered a reminder that, as part of his administration’s efforts to expand free COVID-19 testing throughout West Virginia, the State is now partnering with Walgreens and West Virginia-based company Fruth Pharmacy to offer dozens of new free testing sites at several of their pharmacy drive-thrus.

Walgreens is now offering free testing at 54 locations statewide, including several new testing sites. Locations include stores in Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Cabell, Clay, Fayette, Gilmer, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, McDowell, Mercer, Monongalia, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Summers, Taylor, Upshur, Wayne, Wetzel, Wood, and Wyoming counties.

Fruth Pharmacy is also offering free testing at 12 of their locations statewide, including stores in Cabell, Jackson, Kanawha, Mason, Putnam, Roane, and Wood counties.

Pre-registration is required for pharmacy drive-thru testing.

Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.

Staff Report