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.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, during Monday’s briefing, he called upon younger West Virginians, urging them to sign up to be vaccinated as soon as possible, with COVID-19 numbers slowly creeping back up across certain areas of the state.
“We’ve got more people in the ICU, we’ve got more people in our hospitals, we’ve got more active cases,” Gov. Justice said. “This thing is not going away without a last push on its side. But we can make it go away by getting vaccinated. So please, everyone, especially younger folks, listen to me when I tell you; you’ve got to get vaccinated.
“Our medical experts are confirming that the COVID variants that are out there now are really starting to attack our younger folks, so we need to watch,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’ve lost eight individuals since last week and, of those eight individuals, one was 42, one was 45, and one was 50.”
The Governor pointed out that, despite West Virginia’s nationally renowned success at providing vaccinations for those desiring them compared to other states, less than one-half of West Virginia’s overall population has received at least one dose of the vaccine to date.
“We’ve got to move that up,” Gov. Justice said. “Younger folks, please listen to me. We need you to get your shot. It could very well save your life.”
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there remain seven active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia. The active outbreaks are located in Fayette, Grant, Harrison, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Raleigh counties and account for a total of a total of 88 cases, down from 93 such cases as of the Governor’s previous COVID-19 briefing on Friday last week.
There remain eight active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.
The Governor also reported that there are now 52 inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, up from nine such cases on Friday last week. The inmate cases include 21 at Salem Correctional Center, 16 at South Central Regional Jail, and 13 at Southern Regional Jail, among others. Meanwhile, there are now 10 active staff cases across the DCR system, down from 13 such cases on Friday last week. Gov. Justice announced last week that the state is beginning the process of offering vaccinations to all inmates within the DCR system, age 65 and older, who are interested in receiving the vaccine.
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 51 counties across the state that have free testing events scheduled through the Governor’s Aggressive Testing initiative.
In Mason County, Fruth Pharmacy in Point Pleasant is a testing site, available Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday noon – 6 p.m. Also, more free testing is planned at the old Goodwill Store in Point Pleasant for 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., April 13, 20 and 27, those interested should pre-register at https://wv.getmycovidresult.com/.
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice provided a reminder that his Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement remains in effect.
All West Virginians age 9 and older to wear a face covering at all times inside all indoor public places, regardless of whether or not they are able to maintain proper social distance. The order requires that all businesses and organizations that invite the public into their facilities must post adequate signage advising guests of the requirement and are also responsible for enforcing the requirement to ensure it is being followed.
Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.