COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice to West Virginians: “You can qualify for a booster shot.”

11/17/2021

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
West Virginia sets all-time state record-low seasonally adjusted unemployment rate

CHARLESTON, WV –
Gov. Jim Justice and members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team held another news briefing today to update the public on the State’s latest pandemic response efforts.
GOV. JUSTICE TO WEST VIRGINIANS: “YOU CAN QUALIFY FOR A BOOSTER SHOT.”
During Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice once again pleaded for qualified West Virginians to move quickly to get their booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, underscoring that nearly all West Virginians are eligible.

“You can qualify for the booster shot,” Gov. Justice said. “In my opinion, if you’re breathing, you can qualify. If you’re around a bunch of people for work, whether you’re in an office or a coal mine, or if you’re just a little bit overweight, if you have used tobacco in any way, if you have a little bit of high blood pressure, and on and on, you qualify. Go get the booster.

“There’s no need in us sitting around, waiting, and, in the meantime, you end up in the hospital, and not only are you really sick, but you could very well be taking a bed away from a stroke victim or a heart attack victim,” Gov. Justice continued. “If you’re six months out, your immunity level has dropped so low – you’re making the biggest mistake of your life if you’re just sitting there waiting.”
There are now booster recommendations for all three available COVID-19 vaccines in the United States. 

Individuals who received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for a booster shot if it has been at least six months since they completed their initial series of shots and they fall into at least one of the following groups: For individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, booster shots are also recommended for those who are 18 and older and who were vaccinated two or more months ago.
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
Eligible individuals now may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may have a preference for the vaccine type that they originally received, and others may prefer to get a different booster.

If you are eligible for the booster shot, you can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with your vaccination card to receive the booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
WEST VIRGINIA SETS ALL-TIME STATE RECORD-LOW SEASONALLY ADJUSTED UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that despite the effects of the pandemic on the state economy, West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.3% for October 2021; the lowest such rate recorded in all of state history.

Click here to view WorkForce West Virginia’s most recent Labor Force Summary

“It’s amazing what’s going on in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “We’ve made West Virginia more business-friendly, we’ve stood up for our energy sector and been proud of who we are, we made historic investments in tourism and broadband, and we revamped our whole transportation system.”

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now decreased for 18 straight months.

For the eighth straight month, West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains better than the national unemployment rate.

The number of unemployed state residents decreased by 2,400 in October, while total employment grew 1,200 over the month. 

Click here to view available jobs in West Virginia

Additionally, for the second time in as many months, West Virginia has set an all-time state record-low not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, dropping to 2.9% in October; the first time under 3% in state history.

“We’ve all pulled the rope together through this terrible pandemic and we really made the right decisions; pushed the right buttons,” Gov. Justice said. “We’re killing it right now, but there’s still plenty to do and we want to just keep at it.”
SCHEDULE ADJUSTED FOR “DO IT FOR BABYDOG: ROUND 3”
Additionally, Gov. Justice announced an adjustment to the prize giveaway schedule for the third round of the ​​“Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” vaccination sweepstakes.

Prizes for the first week of giveaways, including 100 Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Licenses, 25 Prizes of a $10,000 Educational Savings Fund, and 1 Grand Prize of a $50,000 Educational Savings Fund, will be announced this Friday. However, the winner of the final Week 1 prize – a $50,000 check to be awarded to a school and a party with Gov. Justice and Babydog – will now be announced in conjunction with Week 2 prizes during the week of Nov. 29.

Do it for Babydog: Round 3 is focused on educating children and their parents on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine and the importance of getting West Virginia’s youngest residents vaccinated.

This round of the sweepstakes is open to all West Virginians ages 5-18 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Children ages 5-17 must have parental consent to be vaccinated and to register.

*Those who previously registered for Round 1 and/or Round 2 of the vaccination sweepstakes are required to register again to be eligible for Round 3*

While the registration deadline for the first prize drawing has now passed, eligible West Virginians can still register for the next drawing through Sunday, Nov. 28, at 11:59 p.m. EST.
CLICK TO REGISTER
GOV. JUSTICE PRESENTS $50,000 CHECKS TO SIX MORE OF WEST VIRGINIA’S HIGHEST-VACCINATED SCHOOLS
Gov. Justice also took time to recap his journey across the state this week to present students and staff at six of the highest-vaccinated schools in West Virginia each with $50,000 checks as winners in the West Virginia Department of Education’s I Got Vaxxed Competition.

Through the competition, a total of 12 public and private schools – four elementary schools, four middle schools, and four high schools – with the largest percentage of eligible vaccinated staff and students will each win $50,000 to use for activities or initiatives which will improve the student experience.

On Monday, Gov. Justice and Babydog made stops at Mountaineer Montessori and Charleston Catholic High School, both located in Charleston, announcing that the schools were among the $50,000 winners.
CLICK TO VIEW MORE
On Tuesday, the Governor and Babydog visited Mercer Elementary School in Princeton to announce that they, too, were among the big winners of the competition.
CLICK TO VIEW MORE
Most recently, earlier today, Gov. Justice and Babydog made their way to Pratt Elementary School, Hurricane High School, and Hite Saunders Elementary School in Huntington to announce that they were also among the $50,000 winners in the competition.
CLICK TO VIEW MORE
The remaining two I Got Vaxxed Competition winners will be announced soon.
CASE NUMBERS & HOSPITALIZATIONS UPDATE
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that 6,462 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; up by 26 cases since the Governor’s previous briefing on Monday.

Despite the small increase over the past two days, the active case count is down overall by 23,282 cases since peaking in mid-September, a drop of 78.3% in that time.

COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov

The number of hospitalizations, patients in ICUs, and patients on ventilators have all dropped between 42.2% and 53.3% since peaking in the final week of September.

The number of hospitalizations is now 519; down by 11 over the past week. Since peaking at 1,012, hospitalizations have dropped by 493 (48.7%).

The number of patients in ICUs is now 171; down by 6 over the past week. Since peaking at 296, the number of patients in ICUs has dropped overall by 125 (42.2%).

The number of patients on ventilators is now 91; up by 5 over the past week. Despite the small increase, since peaking at 195, the number of patients on ventilators has dropped overall by 104 (53.3%).

The County Alert System map now features 6 green counties, 4 yellow counties, 8 gold counties, 21 orange counties, and 16 red counties.
Gov. Justice also reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 29 school outbreaks in 17 counties with 435 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 Outbreaks in State Public Schools (WVDE)
DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR HEALTHY GRANDFAMILIES VACCINATION INCENTIVE PROGRAM DEC. 15
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice reminded West Virginians that the deadline to apply to receive a $150 school voucher through the Healthy Grandfamilies vaccination incentive program is Dec. 15, 2021.

The Healthy Grandfamilies vaccination incentive program offers a $150 voucher for school supplies to all vaccinated grandfamilies in West Virginia: families where grandparents are the primary caregivers for their grandchildren.
CLICK TO REGISTER
To qualify, all vaccine-eligible members of the grandfamily, including grandparents and grandchildren ages 5 and older, must have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The family must also be enrolled in West Virginia State University’s Healthy Grandfamilies program. Enroll at healthygrandfamilies.com.

Healthy Grandfamilies, which provides information and resources to grandparents who are raising one or more grandchildren, is assisting in the administration of the school voucher incentive. According to the organization, about 19,000 West Virginia children live in households with a grandparent or grandparents as their primary caregiver.
COVID-19 RESOURCES
GOVERNOR, FIRST LADY JUSTICE INVITE WEST VIRGINIANS TO CONTRIBUTE TO FIRST RESPONDER RECOGNITION TREES
Gov. Justice also offered a reminder that he and First Lady Cathy Justice are inviting all West Virginians to honor members of the United States Military and First Responders, by submitting photos to be showcased on two recognition trees that will be displayed during the upcoming holiday season.
 
This year's recognition trees will be located in the west rotunda of the main Capitol building in Charleston, along with a third tree decorated by Gold Star Mothers and families to honor their loved ones whose lives were sacrificed while serving our country. 

All photos, along with the submission form and tag, must be received no later than Monday, November 29, 2021.

Click here to read more
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

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