COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces numbers trending in right direction, but urges West Virginians to “stay the course”

4/14/2020

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CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined State health leaders and officials from his administration at the Capitol Complex in Charleston today for a virtual press briefing to once again update the public on the many measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the spread of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


UPDATED COVID NUMBERS OVERVIEW
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice provided another update on the number of COVID-19 cases in the state, saying that West Virginians’ commitment to practicing good social distancing and staying home has the state “trending in a great way.”

 

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“We absolutely have to stay the course,” Gov. Justice said. “But you can see the results are really rock solid and, really, if we can keep trending this way, hopefully we can go back to a way of life where we’re working, and even the possibility of school, and absolutely our polls will be open for a June 9th election, and all the good things.

“We’ve got to be cautious. I don’t want to send everybody out dancing in the streets right yet. But, absolutely, we’re getting there and we’re getting better.”

Visit Coronavirus.wv.gov to view the most up-to-date COVID-19 testing numbers

 

The Governor also discussed West Virginia’s relative success when it comes to limiting the number of COVID-19-related fatalities compared to surrounding states.
 

STATE – FATALITIES*
Pennsylvania – 524
Ohio – 274
Maryland – 262
Virginia – 154
Kentucky – 104
West Virginia – 9

*Data as of April 14 at 10:30 a.m. EDT

 

“It’s nine too many, but it’s a heck of a lot better than anything that’s going on around us,” Gov. Justice said. “And understand just this, there’s no other state anywhere close to us that has any results like that until you go way out west, where the populations are few and far between. Remember, we’re within a rock’s throw of two-thirds of the population of this country.

“It is testimony to what you, as West Virginians, have done all across this state and you, as businesses, that have really sacrificed and all the great stuff that you’re doing,” Gov. Justice continued. “I thank you in every way, West Virginia, and I mean it, you’ve done really, really good. And I can’t wait. I can’t wait to be able to see us back to work or back to school or whatever it may be.”


PROGRAM TO FEED CHILDREN PROVIDING 1 MILLION MEALS PER WEEK
Gov. Justice also provided an update on the State’s efforts to ensure that students across West Virginia are continuing to be well-nourished and fed during the ongoing statewide school closure, through a collaborative effort between the West Virginia Department of Education, Tourism Office, National Guard, and Department of Agriculture.

“We now have a weekly capability of administering 1 million meals per week to the students of West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “This operation is unlike anything we’ve ever done before. But it’s exactly what West Virginians always seem to do in times of trouble.”

Click here to read more about this multi-agency effort

 


GOVERNOR AGAIN URGES CENSUS PARTICIPATION
The Governor also continued to urge all West Virginians to take the opportunity to complete the 2020 United States Census.

“We’ve all got to be counted,” Gov. Justice said. “Please be counted. The federal dollars that may not flow to us if you aren’t counted would be really detrimental.”

 

 

2020census.gov

STATE ASSISTING WAYNE COUNTY NURSING HOME
The Governor also provided an update on a recent surge in coronavirus cases at a Wayne County nursing home. 

With 36 patients and 30 employees testing positive, the Governor announced that the West Virginia National Guard and the Department of Health and Human Resources are “working closely with the Wayne County Health Department to ensure and try to help in every way possible to get everybody through this.”

 


WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD UPDATE
Today, the West Virginia National Guard provided training on proper personal protective equipment, sanitizing and decontamination methods and best practices for the prevention of COVID-19 spread to staff at the Barboursville Veterans home. Members of Task Force Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Response Enterprise (TF-CRE) will make additional visits to the facility in the coming days to train all support staff and facilitate implementing plans and procedures for how to deal with COVID-19 positive cases, if any were to arrive.

"West Virginia has one of the highest per capita populations of veterans in the nation and we must do everything in our power to ensure that they are protected against this virus," stated Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the WVNG. "In addition to assisting our veterans, our organization continues to prioritize West Virginia's elderly population and will move forward with plans to provide COVID-19-specific prevention training to all long-term care facilities in the state. We have made good progress in flattening the curve here, but we cannot let our guard down, especially with our most vulnerable population."

 

Also today, members of the WVNG, Kanawha County Emergency Ambulance Authority, Yeager Airport, Kanawha County Emergency Management, Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, and JanCare Ambulance tested decontamination and sanitization methods for first responder vehicles at Executive Air in Charleston. The goal will be to establish a decontamination and sanitization lane for ambulances, police cars and fire/emergency services vehicles that have transported known or potential COVID-19 patients, ultimately providing protection for our first responders and their families.

Click here to read more about the National Guard's latest efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit Coronavirus.wv.gov.

 

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Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov

Contact

Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

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