COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice honors first West Virginia nurses to pass away from COVID-19

10/7/2020

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CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined West Virginia health leaders and other officials today for his latest daily press briefing regarding the State’s COVID-19 response.
GOVERNOR HONORS FIRST WEST VIRGINIA NURSES TO PASS AWAY FROM COVID-19
During Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that two nurses – one from WVU’s J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown and one from Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington – recently became the first nurses to pass away from COVID-19 in West Virginia, according to the West Virginia Nurses Association.

“We should continue to remember all of these frontline healthcare workers and first responders. These are the real heroes,” Gov. Justice said. “Just imagine: these great people get up in the morning and they know, not only are they running to the fire, but they’re headed right for the middle of the fire.

“That’s what these people do. They try to help people,” Gov. Justice continued. “They know the job is dangerous when they take it. That’s why all of our first responders are true heroes. Please, please always remember to keep them close to your heart.”
Click here to view photo album​
COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that the number of active COVID-19 cases across the state is now 4,327, down slightly from 4,330 on Monday. However, the cumulative percent of positive cases is now 2.77 percent, up slightly from 2.74 percent on Monday.

Meanwhile, West Virginia’s statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission – also known as Rt – is now 0.90; tied for the 5th-best such rate of any state in the country.

West Virginia continues to outperform the national average – as well as the rates of all of its bordering states – in percentage of population tested, percentage of population positive, and percentage of positive test results.

Click here to view the latest COVID-19 data
WEDNESDAY MAP UPDATE
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice provided a look at West Virginia’s latest mid-week County Alert System map update, which continues to show significant improvement with Aggressive Testing efforts underway in several regions.

Red counties: 0
Orange counties: 1 (Upshur)
Gold counties: 7 (Berkeley, Boone, Doddridge, Harrison, Logan, Mingo, Nicholas)
Yellow counties: 11 (Barbour, Cabell, Jackson, Kanawha, Lincoln, Morgan, Pleasants, Putnam, Randolph, Wayne, Wyoming)
Green counties: 36 (All others)

The map is updated live on the DHHR’s COVID-19 Dashboard (Click "County Alert System" tab) throughout the week for informational purposes and to provide an indication of how each county is trending ahead of each Saturday at 5 p.m.; the time when each county is assigned its official color designation for the next week, which determines the level of scholastic, athletic, and extracurricular activities permitted in each county for that particular week.
AGGRESSIVE TESTING CONTINUES ACROSS STATE
Also today, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that additional free testing events are scheduled in the upcoming weeks for several counties all across West Virginia.

In each of the counties under the Orange color designation, testing sites will be offered throughout this week.

This testing is available to all residents in selected counties, 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.

Click here to view all locations, dates, times and more details
GOVERNOR CELEBRATES 3RD ANNIVERSARY OF ROADS TO PROSPERITY PROGRAM
Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce that Wednesday marked the 3rd anniversary of the historic passage of Gov. Justice’s Roads To Prosperity bond program.

“I think all of us across West Virginia should cheer in celebration,” Gov. Justice said. 

On October 7, 2017, West Virginians were asked to cast their vote on whether to approve the issuance of $1.6 billion of state bonds to build and upgrade the state’s roads and bridges. This historic road bond passed with an overwhelming majority of voters – 73 percent – supporting the Governor’s Roads To Prosperity initiative.

“Of course it took a leader – someone to come up with an idea – and it took the Legislature to pass it,” Gov. Justice said. “But at the end of the day, West Virginia, you deserve the credit for all the great work that’s happening and continues to go on today.”

According to the West Virginia Department of Transportation, 811 projects – worth $482.9 million and spanning 1,543 miles – have already been completed through the Roads To Prosperity program to-date. Those projects, spread across all 55 counties, include paving, slip/slide repairs, bridge repairs, and other road improvements.

Well over $1 billion-worth of major infrastructure improvement projects through Gov. Justice’s Roads To Prosperity program have either been completed to date or are currently underway.

Click here to read more
OUTBREAK REPORT
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are 18 active outbreaks in public schools across the state. These outbreaks account for 50 confirmed cases.

Click here to view the WVDE’s Current Outbreaks in Schools chart

West Virginia is now up to 13 active church-related outbreaks across nine counties: Doddridge, Fayette, Harrison, Kanawha, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Tucker, and Upshur counties. Another recent church-related outbreak in Nicholas County is no longer considered active at this time.

There currently remain 41 outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.

Gov. Justice also reported that across the entire Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, there are now just three active cases of COVID-19 among inmates. Two of the cases are located within Mount Olive Correctional Complex in Fayette County, while one case is located within North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County.

There are now just four active cases among DCR employees across West Virginia.

Click here to view the latest corrections facility update
FLU VACCINE REMINDER
Once again today, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to remind and encourage all West Virginians to get their flu vaccine.

According to health officials, everyone 6 months and older should receive this vaccine.
CITIES/COUNTIES GRANT FUNDING: OVER $140 MILLION HAS NOW BEEN AWARDED
Also today, Gov. Justice provided an update on cities and counties throughout West Virginia applying for funds through the federal CARES Act, reporting that more than $140 million has now been awarded all across the state. To date, 191 cities and counties have applied for this grant funding.

web portal is available for city and county government officials to apply. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.

Each of the recipients of CARES Act funding, along with grant amounts, are now available to view through the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office COVID-19 transparency website.
WEST VIRGINIA REMAINS AMONG NATIONAL LEADERS IN CENSUS RESPONSE RATE; ALL URGED TO PARTICIPATE
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

West Virginia remains tied atop the national standings with the #1 best Census response rate in the country: 99.9 percent.

For perspective, during the last Census in 2010, the state’s final response rate was just 74 percent.

Every West Virginian who does not respond to the Census represents a loss of $20,000 in federal funds over the next 10 years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Be counted in minutes: 2020census.gov.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Click here to view all Executive Orders and other actions taken by Gov. Justice to combat the spread of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

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.

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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