COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice orders all nursing home residents and staff statewide to be tested for COVID-19

4/17/2020

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CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice joined State health and emergency response leaders today for his latest daily press briefing to update the public on the measures being taken in the interest of protecting the public from the spread of COVID-19.


ALL NURSING HOME RESIDENTS AND STAFF TO BE TESTED FOR COVID-19
Today, Gov. Justice issued an Executive Order, directing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the West Virginia National Guard to test every nursing home resident and staff member throughout the state.

Residents and staff members who have previously been tested will be retested to ensure the most up-to-date results possible. The Governor has directed that this effort begin immediately to provide more aggressive support to West Virginia’s nursing home population.

“Our nursing homes, as we all know, are home to some of the most vulnerable of our people. This disease has a way of attacking the elderly,” Gov. Justice said. “Every single one of these people have brought wisdom to all of us for decades and decades. These are not statistics. These are names and families and they absolutely deserve the very best from us in every way. Just ‘good enough’ is not good enough. We need to be perfect.”

Click here to view the Executive Order

 

 

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LABORATORIES NOW REQUIRED TO REPORT TEST RESULTS TO DHHR
Gov. Justice also directed the DHHR to file an order, effective today, requiring all laboratories across West Virginia to provide immediate, real-time electronic reports of both positive and negative COVID-19 tests to the DHHR and to their respective local health departments.

“Most of our labs are already doing this, but we don’t have the expediency that we need from all the labs,” Gov. Justice said.

Click here to view the DHHR order

Click here to read more

 

 


GOV. JUSTICE DISCUSSES PRESIDENT TRUMP’S PHASED APPROACH TO REOPENING AMERICA
Additionally today, Gov. Justice offered his support to President Donald J. Trump and his three-phased plan of Opening Up America Again.

“We need to, some way, transition out of this disease and get our engine back going and get back to work,” Gov. Justice said. “Now, as I’ve said over and over, I’m not going to back away from protecting you and listening to our medical experts. But I can tell you that it’s a priority, beyond belief, to get you back to doing the things that you would like to do with your life and get West Virginians back to work.

“It’s a balancing act,” Gov. Justice continued. “And I’m going to do the very best that the good Lord gives me the capability to be able to do to protect you on one hand and to get us back going with our lives and back to work on the other hand.”

 

 


UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS UPDATE
Gov. Justice also provided an update on the State’s expedited processing of unemployment claims, reporting that more than 14,000 claims were processed yesterday alone.

With 130,000 unemployment claims into Workforce West Virginia since the beginning of March, efforts continue to clear the backlog and provide assistance to West Virginians as quickly as possible.

“Workforce has promised that, by next week, we’ll be caught up,” Gov. Justice said. “I’m proud to say there’s real relief coming.”

Click here for more information on applying for unemployment benefits

 

 


WEST VIRGINIANS REMINDED TO TAKE CENSUS
Gov. Justice offers another reminder to all West Virginians to take the opportunity to complete 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 ten years for the state and its local communities. The funds can go toward things like healthcare, education, infrastructure, school lunch programs, and more.

Respond to the Census online at 2020census.gov.

 

 


WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD RESPONSE UPDATE
Since beginning operations in support of the state's COVID-19 response 35 days ago, the WVNG has completed 447 missions through four lines of effort: operationalizing of the event, stabilizing the population, providing logistical movement of critical supplies, and conducting data analysis to combat the virus. Currently, 632 members of the WVNG are on duty serving the citizens of the State of West Virginia.

During Governor Justice's daily press briefing, Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, adjutant general of the WVNG announced that the Guard has developed the Department of Defense's first approved mobile COVID-19 testing lab. Guard personnel, including 1st Lt. Samantha Fabian, a Citizen-Soldier and doctoral candidate studying genetics and developmental biology, developed the idea for a rapid-response mobile laboratory that can test potential COVID-19 patients in roughly 15 minutes.

Two mobile testing labs will be up and running next week, once supplies are obtained, and will stage in two areas of the West Virginia – North and South – to respond to potential hot spots that require quick results.

The West Virginia National Guard took several additional new actions today in support of the State’s COVID-19 response. More information will be posted to the WVNG website when it becomes available.


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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