COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice provides update on testing results at Huttonsville correctional facility

5/27/2020

​​
 

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
Following his latest daily media briefing, Gov. Justice and leaders with the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation learned Wednesday afternoon that a total of 102 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

“We didn’t have a single test in all of our correctional facilities, that tested positive, up until just all of a sudden a few days ago,” Gov. Justice said during the briefing earlier in the day. “When it came to me that we were testing a block of prisoners and testing the staff that worked with the prisoners that were exposed to each other in that block, I said, ‘No, it’s not enough. We’re going to test everybody in the whole facility.’”

Gov. Justice ordered the full testing of all inmates and staff at the Huttonsville correctional facility last Friday, and announced yesterday that the mass testing effort of more than 1,000 inmates and staff members had been completed. 

“Most all of the other states have had a really bad go of it with their prisons,” Gov. Justice said. “All of these people are in an area that’s confined and, naturally, they interact in a closer area so, therefore, they’re more exposed. I hope and pray that what we’re doing is the right thing and, at the end of the day, it will protect people because they deserve to be protected.”

“All positives have been moved and separated and we continue to move and separate inmates as the additional results come in,” West Virginia DCR Commissioner Betsy Jividen said. “We’re going to continue responding to this, based upon the results of this enhanced testing, and, in coordination with the medical team and the experts, we will continue to look at contact tracing and case investigation and take this process where it needs.

“I do want to point out that we have been on this and we have been proactively responding since the first part of March,” Jividen continued. “We immediately put staff and inmate screening into place in our facilities. Inmates who come into the regional jails are quarantined for 14 days before they are allowed to go into the general population. We’ve been following the CDC guidelines on the testing of inmates and we have had medical providers at all of our facilities.

“The incident at Huttonsville was caught through our procedures that have been in place since early March.”

Also Wednesday, the Governor directed DCR to begin the process of fully testing all correctional facilities across West Virginia.

“We should now go and test all the facilities – facilities that we know that we don’t have a problem yet, but we probably only have a limited amount of knowledge,” Gov. Justice said.

“We want to continue to try to address every potential issue,” Gov. Justice continued. “That’s why, now, we’re going to embark on testing everyone.”

 

Click images to view photo album

WEST VIRGINIA INNOVATIONS EMERGING FROM BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice and Maj. Gen. James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard provided an overview of several products that have recently been developed in West Virginia to streamline and broaden the State’s capabilities to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These innovative products include all-new ventilator systems, 3D-printed testing swabs, reusable medical gowns, nationally regarded protective masks, and Hydrogen Peroxide disinfecting systems.

“I’ve said over and over, I could never be more proud of West Virginia and West Virginians because they are the heart and soul of this country,” Gov. Justice said. “At the end of the day, the very thing that they are the greatest at is that they’re smart. They’re innovative people, they’re creative people, they’re craftsmen, and you see it right here with what’s happening.”

As the production of these innovative new products continues, the West Virginia National Guard will work to build a stockpile of the items in case a need to further ensure the safety of West Virginians should arise in the future.

Click here to read more

 

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. 

 

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.


To date, applications have been received from seven counties and municipalities:

Berkeley County Council

Kanawha County Commission

Roane County Commission

City of Hurricane

City of Spencer

City of Summersville

Town of Bath


“The restrictions are really tight right now, but they are beginning to loosen up,” Gov. Justice said. “All of these counties and cities that have applied will have more and more bites at the apple where they can reapply.


“We’re really happy that these dollars are out and we would just encourage, more and more, for our counties and our cities to continue to apply and we’ll keep pumping the money out to everyone.”

 

TESTING FOR MINORITY, VULNERABLE POPULATIONS CONTINUES
Efforts to test susceptible populations across West Virginia are set to continue throughout this week.

Testing in Fayette County will continue through Thursday at various times and locations:


FAYETTE COUNTY 

Kil

syth Free Will Baptist Church: 119 Freewill Lane, Mt. Hope 

Wednesday, May 27  |  3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Oak Hill High School: 350 W. Oyler Avenue, Oak Hill 

Thursday, May 28  |  2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

 

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


BERKELEY COUNTY 

Musse

lman 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 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.

 

DATA UPDATE
Additionally today, Gov. Justice provided an overview of statewide data on COVID-19, highlighting that West Virginia’s cumulative percentage of positive test results has increased, slightly, to 2.11 percent.

“We were declining – first we were in the threes, then I said if we got in the twos we’d start reopening, and we got in the twos and we kept on going down and down,” Gov. Justice said. “Then, at the end, you see a spike and that’s Huttonsville. That’s exactly what we want the numbers to show us.

“If it was community spread, and it was all over the place, we’d have a big-time problem with that area and we would absolutely move to try to do something to change everything that was going on in that area and change very quickly,” Gov. Justice continued. “Thank goodness it’s not community spread, but we continue to watch. That’s why we said we wanted something that was scientific and mathematical that would allow us to run to the fire when we see something happening.

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.

 

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

Flag Status

 

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map