COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice orders all corrections facility inmates and employees statewide to be tested for COVID-19

5/28/2020

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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.

HUTTONSVILLE TESTING RESULTS UPDATE
Following his latest daily media briefing, Gov. Justice and leaders with the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation learned Thursday afternoon that a total of 111 inmates at the Huttonsville Correctional Center and Jail in Randolph County have now tested positive for COVID-19.

No additional staff members have tested positive. Additional tests from the facility remain pending at several labs across the state.

Click here to view the latest correctional facilities testing data

“For a long, long time, we were testing those in our jail facilities and we were pitching a perfect game. We didn’t have any positives,”
Gov. Justice said during the briefing earlier in the day. “Well, now, all of the sudden we have an outbreak. And so what do we do? We do exactly what we should do and that’s run to that fire.”

ALL CORRECTIONS FACILITY INMATES AND STAFF TO BE TESTED STATEWIDE
As a result of the recent developments at the Huttonsville facility, Gov. Justice also announced Thursday that he has ordered all inmates and employees at every corrections facility across West Virginia to be tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, as a precautionary measure in efforts to curtail the spread of the virus.

“We have enough testing capability, so we’re going to test everyone in all of our prison facilities,” Gov. Justice said. “So we are running to that fire and we are going to take care of it.”

 

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Secretary Jeff Sandy of the newly-codified West Virginia Department of Homeland Security reported during his remarks Thursday that the current number of inmates, employees, and contractors within the State’s correctional facilities is 13,966.

“The Governor has stated that he wants all corrections facilities tested,” Sec. Sandy said. “We worked into the late hours last night with the DHHR, our healthcare providers, local health departments, and the West Virginia National Guard to lay out how we are going to accomplish that.”

FREE COMMUNITY TESTING IN RANDOLPH COUNTY, OTHER HIGH-RISK AREAS
Also Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that the State will soon offer free testing in Randolph County due to the outbreak at the Huttonsville corrections facility. More details will be released when they become available.

This optional, free testing is especially recommended for high-risk individuals, including minority populations and those with pre-existing health conditions. However, the testing is available to all residents, including asymptomatic individuals.

Efforts to test susceptible populations in other regions across West Virginia are set to continue throughout this week and into the weekend.

Today marks the final day of testing in Fayette County. Testing concludes at 6 p.m.

  • FAYETTE COUNTY
    • Oak Hill High School: 350 W. Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill
      • Thursday, May 28  |  2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

 

Additional testing will be held tomorrow and Saturday in Berkeley, Jefferson, Kanawha, Mineral, and Morgan counties as follows:

  • BERKELEY COUNTY
    • Mussel
    • man High School: 126 Excellence Way, Inwood
      • Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • JEFFERSON COUNTY
    • Hollywood Casino: 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town
      • Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • KANAWHA COUNTY
    • Shawnee Sports Complex: One Salango Way, Dunbar
      • Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • MINERAL COUNTY
    • American Legion Piedmont: 10 Green Street, Piedmont
      • Friday, May 29  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • School Complex: 1123 Harley O. Staggers Senior Drive, Keyser
      • Saturday, May 30  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
  • MORGAN COUNTY
    • Warm Springs Middle School: 271 Warm Springs Way, Berkeley Springs
      • Friday, May 29 & Saturday, May 30  |  9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

WEST VIRGINIA STRONG – THE COMEBACK  |  SAFER AT HOME ORDER

Week 5 of the Gov. Justice reopening plan – West Virginia Strong – The Comeback – is now underway and announcements regarding future reopenings have been made. The Governor's new Safer At Home order is also in effect. Click on the links to read more:

 

GOV. JUSTICE APPLAUDS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXTENSION OF TITLE 32 ORDERS FOR NATIONAL GUARD MEMBERS
During Gov. Justice’s media briefing today, President Donald J. Trump posted the following message on social media:


“The men and women of the National Guard have been doing a great job fighting the CoronaVirus. This week, I will extend their Title 32 orders through mid-August, so they can continue to help States succeed in their response and recovery efforts.”

-President Donald J. Trump


After learning of this commitment to National Guard members across the country, Gov. Justice commended President Trump for making this pledge, which will also benefit West Virginia’s guardsmen and women by allowing them to receive pay and benefits from the federal government, while continuing their important work helping the State respond to the ongoing pandemic.

“He’s done a fabulous job and I love him to death,” Gov. Justice said. “This extension until mid-August is really, really good. Basically, what this does is it rewards the members of the National Guard with lots of extra benefits and things that they deserve.

“They deserve it tenfold, and I’m sure the President feels the same way.”

Click here to read more about all the West Virginia National Guard’s response efforts

 

DATA UPDATE
Additionally today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s number of COVID-19 deaths has remained significantly lower than all of its surrounding states as the pandemic has raged on for several months.

“West Virginia, around all of this massive population, has numbers that are phenomenal,” Gov. Justice said. “East of the Mississippi River, it is unbelievable what you, as West Virginians, have done here in this great state.”


Data as of May 28, 10:30 a.m. EDT  |  Source: nbcnews.com

 

 

West Virginia continues to excel in several metrics compared to its surrounding states and the national average. View the latest COVID-19 data at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

CITY AND COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION REMINDER
The Governor once again offered a reminder that the State recently sent out the application for cities and counties throughout West Virginia to apply for funding through the federal CARES Act.

A new web portal is now available for city and county government officials to apply for this grant funding, at grants.wv.gov. Interested parties can also call the helpline: 1-833-94-GRANT.

 

WEST VIRGINIANS URGED TO PARTICIPATE IN CENSUS
Once more today, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to participate in the 2020 United States Census.

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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