Governor: WVa National Guard completes mission


Staff Report



CHARLESTON — Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing this to update the public on the state’s latest pandemic response and vaccine distribution efforts.

During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice was joined by West Virginia National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Bill Crane, who announced that, with COVID-19-related hospitalizations continuing to recede across the state, the WVNG has officially concluded its mission of providing additional staffing support at West Virginia hospitals, according to a news release from the governor’s office.

“We’ve drawn down our support in the hospitals. We really appreciate all that the hospitals did to welcome us into their facilities and give us an opportunity to see what they’ve had to do for the past two years,” Maj. Gen. Crane said.

Additionally, Maj. Gen. Crane went on to say that members of the WVNG are now coming off their orders to support the state pandemic response.

“We’re hosting a job fair for soldiers and airmen, starting tomorrow and the next day, to help them navigate the process of coming off orders and, if they don’t have employment to go back to, to make sure they have an opportunity somewhere,” Maj. Gen. Crane said. “I just can’t thank the Governor and the entire pandemic leadership team for all of the support we’ve received during this COVID response.”

“This week marked the two-year anniversary of the Governor activating us to provide support to the State of West Virginia in response to the pandemic – making this the longest continuous activation of the National Guard in the state’s history,” Crane added. “At the height of our mission, we had about 700 service members providing support to the state.

“Again, Governor, we thank you for all the support you’ve provided.”

“All I can do is applaud the incredible work that all of you have done,” Gov. Justice said. “It was a real honor flying with y’all.

“We don’t know if or when we’ll have to call back for your help, but we know you’ll be there for us,” Gov. Justice continued. “The only thing I can say is that I love you with all my soul. The work you’ve done for all West Virginians has been unbelievable. God bless you.”

On Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there were 1,244 active cases of COVID-19 statewide. Over the past seven weeks, total active cases have reportedly decreased by more than 94%.

Since nearing peak capacity in early February, COVID-related hospitalizations in West Virginia are down 75%, ICU patients are down 69%, and patients on ventilators are down 68%.

An updated breakdown of the West Virginia County Alert Map is as follows:

Red (0) | Orange (0) | Gold (1) | Yellow (1) | Green (53)

Still, after reading the ages and locations of another 10 individuals who have passed away from COVID-19 since Friday last week, Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to get vaccinated and boosted.

Initial series vaccinations are available for free for all West Virginians ages 5 and older and booster shots are authorized and encouraged for all West Virginians ages 12 and older. Read more about vaccines and boosters at Vaccinate.wv.gov and at CDC.gov.

Information provided by the office of Gov. Jim Justice.

Staff Report