COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice: West Virginia leading nation in multiple vaccine distribution metrics as “Save Our Wisdom” efforts continue to ramp up

1/8/2021

​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.
VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE
During his briefing, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia continues to lead the nation in the rate of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration.

As of Friday, 77,156 of 109,440 first doses delivered in West Virginia to date have been administered; a rate of 70.50 percent.

More than 12,500 doses have been administered in the past 24 hours alone.

“Just think of the lives that we saved just yesterday,” Gov. Justice said. “How many did we save? How much is that worth? You can’t put a price on that. We’re giving life and hope to these people.”

The Governor went on to report that several vaccination clinics were held in West Virginia yesterday for members of the general public age 80 and older.
Pictured: “Save Our Wisdom” vaccination clinic in Mercer County, where 590 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were administered Thursday
These clinics were the first in a series of 10 such events being held across the state at various locations and dates throughout the rest of this week. They are being organized through Gov. Justice’s recently announced “Save Our Wisdom” program, which aims to provide vaccines to all individuals age 80 and older, as well as all Pre-K-12 school teachers and staff age 50 and older.
More info: vaccinate.wv.gov
Approximately 30 additional vaccination clinics were also held yesterday for school teachers and staff age 50 and older, with another 20-plus such clinics scheduled for today.

According to early reports, about 70 percent of qualified school employees are currently choosing to get vaccinated.

“We need to save people’s lives and we need to get back in school,” Gov. Justice said.

Also, all of the long-term care facilities under the AMFM Nursing & Rehabilitation Centers umbrella will complete their second doses today.

Click here to view photo album
WEST VIRGINIA RANKED #1 IN MULTIPLE NATIONAL COVID-19 VACCINATION TRACKERS
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice once again highlighted the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Tracker, noting that West Virginia is now the top-ranked state in the entire nation for vaccine distribution on a per capita basis.
The Governor also highlighted Bloomberg.com’s vaccine tracker, which also includes data on each state’s vaccination rate, and noted that, adjusting for West Virginia’s latest numbers of doses distributed to the state versus doses administered, West Virginia leads the nation in this category as well, notching a 70.5 percent vaccination rate. North Dakota is the next closest state at 62.1 percent.
“We want to lap the field, because every time we do, we’re saving lives,” Gov. Justice said. “The net-net of the whole thing is that West Virginia is the very best state in the country at getting these life-saving shots in people’s arms.”
COVID-19 VACCINE INFO LINE REMINDER
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided a reminder that the State has launched a new COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line to help West Virginians get information on the distribution process and availability of COVID-19 vaccines.

VACCINE INFO LINE: 1-833-734-0965

The line operates Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Visit vaccinate.wv.gov for more information, including details on vaccine availability and other frequently asked questions.
WEST VIRGINIA RECEIVES OVER $339 MILLION IN FUNDING FOR EDUCATION
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice announced that as part of the Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief Fund, which was renewed by Congress in the second federal stimulus package, West Virginia has received more than $339 million in additional funds.

These funds can be used by the 55 county school systems across the state to address the educational impact of the pandemic, including continuity of operations, pandemic learning loss activities, health and safety needs, and more.
COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 28,189, up from 27,626 active cases during the Governor’s previous COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

West Virginia has recorded 1,896 new positive cases over the past 24 hours.

The number of active hospitalizations is now 787 patients, down from 818 on Wednesday, with 208 of those patients currently in the ICU.

The cumulative percent of positive cases has now reached a record high of 5.25%.

Click here to view the latest COVID-19 data

As of Friday afternoon, the statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission – also known as Rt – decreased to 1.00; tied for the 5th-best such rate of any state in the country.
FRIDAY MAP UPDATE
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice provided a look at West Virginia’s latest mid-week County Alert System map update.

The map is updated live on the DHHR’s COVID-19 Dashboard (Click "County Alert System" tab) throughout the week.

Red counties: 41 (Barbour, Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Doddridge, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Marion, Marshall, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Pocahontas, Preston, Raleigh, Ritchie, Taylor, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt, Wood)
Orange counties: 13 (Calhoun, Fayette, Kanawha, Lewis, Logan, Mason, McDowell, Putnam, Randolph, Roane, Summers, Tucker, Wyoming)
Gold counties: 1 (Clay)
Yellow counties: 0
Green counties: 0
DHHR’s COVID-19 Dashboard (Click "County Alert System" tab)
OUTBREAK REPORT
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there remain four active outbreaks in public schools across the state. These outbreaks account for 15 confirmed cases.

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

West Virginia has 14 active church-related outbreaks across nine counties: Harrison, Jackson, Marion, McDowell, Mingo, Monongalia, Nicholas, Summers, and Upshur counties. These outbreaks account for a total of 132 cases, down from 139 cases on Wednesday.

There are now 111 outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state, down from 118 outbreaks on Wednesday.

The Governor also reported that there are now 355 active inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, down from 400 such cases as of Wednesday. Among the cases that are currently active, 238 are at Tygart Valley Regional Jail, 80 are at Saint Marys Correctional Center, and 16 are at Ohio County Correctional Center.

There are 61 active staff cases across the DCR system, up from 55 such cases on Wednesday.

Click here to view the latest corrections facility update
AGGRESSIVE TESTING CONTINUES ACROSS STATE
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 50 counties across the state that have free testing events scheduled through the Governor’s Aggressive Testing initiative.

This testing is available to all residents, 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
An interactive online map of all free testing locations across West Virginia is available on the state’s COVID-19 website. Users can filter the map by type of testing site, including daily testing events, recurring testing events, as well as Walgreens and Fruth Pharmacy testing locations. Users can also filter by county. Each location is marked on the map with a pin. After finding a testing location nearby, users are able to click on the pin for more information about that particular testing site, including the specific location and timeframe during which testing will be held.

Click here to view all locations, dates, times, and more details
UPDATED FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT IN EFFECT; SIGNS AVAILABLE FOR BUSINESSES
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided a reminder that his broadened Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement remains in effect.

The order requires all West Virginians age 9 and older to wear a face covering at all times inside all indoor public places, regardless of whether or not they are able to maintain proper social distance. The order requires that all businesses and organizations that invite the public into their facilities must post adequate signage advising guests of the requirement and are also responsible for enforcing the requirement to ensure it is being followed.

Click here to read more details about the face covering requirement

Posters are available on the DHHR’s online Face Covering Toolkit for businesses or organizations to print and display. Social media graphics are also available for download and use by the general public.
MONOCLONAL ANTIBODY TREATMENT REMINDER
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that West Virginia plans to begin utilizing monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 more frequently, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s recent emergency authorization of the treatment.

Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off viruses.

The Governor again urged all West Virginians over the age of 65 who test positive to ask their doctor if they qualify for this type of treatment.
WEST VIRGINIANS CALLED UPON TO DONATE BLOOD AND PLASMA
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice once again encouraged all West Virginians to consider donating blood and plasma through the American Red Cross.

In the Governor’s recent call with the White House Coronavirus Task Force, Vice President Mike Pence said that there is still a shortage of plasma and blood all across the nation.

Those fully recovered from a verified COVID-19 diagnosis may have plasma in their blood containing COVID-19 antibodies that can attack this virus. This plasma is being evaluated as a possible treatment for currently ill COVID-19 patients.

For more information, visit redcross.org or call the local American Red Cross offices at 304-340-3650.
FLU VACCINE REMINDER
Additionally Friday, 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.

In addition to providing protection from the flu, this vaccine helps reduce the burden on hospitals and healthcare systems.

Locate a flu vaccine near you through the DHHR website.
GAME CHANGER REFRESHER
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks to report that the recently announced “Change Their Holiday” promotion through West Virginia Game Changer raised over $50,000 in just three-and-a-half weeks leading up to the holidays.

As a result, 40 West Virginia families affected by opioid and substance misuse were able to enjoy a complete holiday experience – down to the presents and the holiday meal – that otherwise might not have been possible.

In July 2020, Gov. Justice agreed to serve as the “Head Coach and General Manager” of the West Virginia Game Changer initiative. One of the largest public-private coalitions of its kind in the nation, Game Changer is aimed at tackling opioid and substance misuse, along with other issues impacting West Virginia’s youth.

Click here to read more
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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Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

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