|CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice and West Virginia pandemic response leaders held a special Christmas Day briefing today to update citizens on the latest information regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
The Governor began the briefing by wishing all West Virginians a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season.
“I hope and pray you’re having the merriest of Christmases that you could possibly have,” Gov. Justice said. “I know we’ve got a lot of people that are out there putting in a lot of good licks in right now. I’d like you to remember them in your thoughts, your prayers, as well as all the different people that we’ve lost and all their loved ones.”
The Governor gave special thanks to the men and women on the front lines of the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic for their tireless work, especially through the holiday.
“There are people that are out there right now and they are really battling. They are battling hard for all of us,” Gov. Justice said. “These would be first responders, healthcare workers, long-term care workers, the National Guard, utility workers, the DOT workers who are plowing the snow, the convenience store workers, and all the other essential workers...we care and we absolutely appreciate you.
“You’ve got people out there that are battling the elements, that are trying to get vaccines in people’s arms,” Gov. Justice continued.
During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice provided another update on West Virginia's COVID-19 vaccine administration rate, announcing that 28,623 of 60,875 total doses delivered in West Virginia to date have now been administered. This 47.01% vaccination rate is the highest of any state in the nation according to Bloomberg.com, with Maine ranking 2nd in the nation at approximately 28%.
The Governor also took time to provide a reminder that the West Virginia Department of Education will not be releasing a Saturday School Alert System map update tomorrow due to all schools being closed for the holidays. The next map will be released on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021.
The Governor went on to thank all West Virginians for the sacrifices that they are making this holiday season to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“You’ve got people that are sitting at home, and I wish so much that they could be with their families. There’s a lot of great friends and loved ones that all of us haven’t been able to be with today and we hate it like crazy,” Gov. Justice said. “On the other hand, there’s a bunch of people out there that have really, truly lost loved ones that have been taken by this terrible killer.
“All I can say is that, in every way, I appreciate so much all the great work that all the people are doing all around me in every capacity,” Gov. Justice continued. “Their courage is unmatched and, absolutely, their devotion to each and every one of us is unbelievable.”