COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice: West Virginia surpasses 1 million vaccine doses administered

4/9/2021

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.

1 MILLIONTH VACCINE DOSE ADMINISTERED
During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that more than 1 million doses of the  COVID-19 vaccine have now been administered statewide.

“We now have in the arms of West Virginians in excess of a million doses,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s great, great stuff.”

To date, 645,541 West Virginians have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 433,823 West Virginians have been fully vaccinated.

“Great job, West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “But we’ve still got more work we’ve got to do.”

FIRST CASE OF SOUTH AFRICAN VARIANT IDENTIFIED IN WEST VIRGINIA
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia has detected its first case of the South African variant of COVID-19 in Berkeley County.

“This is an extremely transmittable variant,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s in 36 states across our nation and now it’s in West Virginia.

“This is just more and more testimony that it’s not time to let our guard down,” Gov. Justice continued. “We need you to continue to step up: wear your mark, wash your hands, stay apart, and get your vaccine.”
“As we’ve said with these variant viruses – and now that we’ve found the South African variant in West Virginia as well as we’re seeing the growth of the United Kingdom variant in West Virginia – we recognize that these variants are more infectious,” State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said. “We’re now seeing the spread of infection mainly in our younger population. The impact of these new variants are perhaps more severe for young people that, generally, have felt to be protected against the consequences of COVID-19.

“So we’re really focusing on trying to help these young people and their families choose to get vaccinated to protect themselves so we can protect each other,” Dr. Marsh continued. “It is really, really important that we see this population choose to be vaccinated.”

GOVERNOR AGAIN URGES WEST VIRGINIANS AGE 16-35 TO GET VACCINATED
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice once again called upon all West Virginians, especially those age 16-35, to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“I am also calling on all parents and grandparents to step up and tell your children: ‘We have got to get you vaccinated as quickly as possible,’” Gov. Justice said. “Young people, with a life of decades and decades in front of them, if they are infected, they could be harmed possibly with side effects.”

People between the ages of 10-19 now make up most new cases in West Virginia, followed by those between the ages of 20-29.  

“We have got to get you vaccinated from the standpoint that you are also the people transmitting this faster than anyone else,” Gov. Justice said.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia has now successfully administered 1,056,510 vaccine doses after receiving a total allotment of 1,215,920 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 86.9%.

To date, 645,541 West Virginians have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 433,823 West Virginians have been fully vaccinated.

West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard (Click “Vaccine Summary” tab)
Vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians age 16 and older. However, West Virginians who are age 65 and older will continue to be prioritized first until all state residents in this age range who desire the vaccine have been vaccinated.

To date, 254,294 West Virginians age 65 and older have chosen to be vaccinated – over 75% of West Virginia’s population in this age range – including 210,356 who are now fully vaccinated.

At the Governor’s direction, the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) has established three fixed-location vaccination clinics in Berkeley, Kanawha, and Monongalia counties to ensure that every West Virginian age 65 and older has access to a vaccine.

Any West Virginians age 65 and older are urged to pre-register for an appointment by visiting vaccinate.wv.gov or calling the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965. The info line is open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Vaccinations also continue to be made available at Walgreens locations, the Med Shoppe/Leader network of pharmacies, Walmart locations, and additional independent pharmacies throughout the state as part of the federal pharmacy partnership in West Virginia.

West Virginians can go to vaccinefinder.org for assistance in locating and securing an appointment at one of these federal pharmacy partners.
The JIATF continues to reach out to manufacturers and businesses across the state to increase vaccine access for employees and their families choosing to be vaccinated by organizing vaccination clinics at these facilities.

Additionally, church leaders are still being urged to contact the JIATF for help organizing vaccination clinics for interested members of their congregations.

Anyone interested in organizing one of these vaccination clinics is asked to contact the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965.

COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 7,084, up from 6,897 as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

The number of active hospitalizations is now 280, up from 271 on Wednesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 87 patients are in the ICU, up from 84 such patients on Wednesday.

The cumulative percent of positive cases is now 5.23%, down from 5.24% on Wednesday.

Click here to view the latest COVID-19 data

FRIDAY MAP UPDATE
Also on 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: 3
Orange counties: 4
Gold counties: 10
Yellow counties: 8
Green counties: 30

OUTBREAK REPORT
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now seven active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia, down from eight such outbreaks as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday. The active outbreaks are located in Fayette, Grant, Harrison, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Raleigh counties and account for a total of a total of 80 cases, down from 92 such cases on Wednesday.

There remain eight active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.

The Governor also reported that there are now 97 inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, up from 73 such cases on Wednesday. The inmate cases include 36 at Southern Regional Jail, 34 at Salem Correctional Center, and 23 at South Central Regional Jail. Meanwhile, there are now nine active staff cases across the DCR system, down from 11 such cases on Wednesday. Gov. Justice announced last week that the state is beginning the process of offering vaccinations to all inmates within the DCR system, age 65 and older, who are interested in receiving the vaccine. To learn more about DCR facility vaccination efforts, or to view the latest DCR case update, click here.

AGGRESSIVE TESTING CONTINUES ACROSS STATE
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 51 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.

An interactive online map of all free testing locations across West Virginia is available online. 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

ALL BUSINESSES MUST CONTINUE TO FOLLOW COVID-19 SAFETY GUIDELINES
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice took time to provide a reminder that all businesses in West Virginia must continue to follow all applicable COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Click here to view all active guidance documents

FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT REMAINS IN EFFECT
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided a reminder that his Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement remains in effect.

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.

DONATE BLOOD AND PLASMA
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice once again encouraged all West Virginians to consider donating blood and plasma through the American Red Cross.

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 may be able to be used as a 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.

GOVERNOR OFFERS CONDOLENCES AFTER LOSS OF ALBRIGHT VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to offer his thoughts and prayers to Captain Charles Wesley “Chuck” Miller Jr. of the Albright Volunteer Fire Department in Preston County, who died in the line of duty on Easter Sunday.

Captain Miller was driving to the fire station to assist with a wildland fire in Preston County when it is believed a possible medical emergency caused him to lose control of his vehicle.

Captain Miller was 62 and had been a firefighter with the Albright VFD for nearly 30 years.

He is survived by his wife, Carrie, their two sons, a grandson, and other family members.

“Cathy and I send our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones, and all those in the Albright community,” Gov. Justice said. “This gentleman gave so much; 30 years looking after his community. We could never thank him and his family enough.”

GOVERNOR DISCUSSES PROPOSAL TO REPEAL PERSONAL INCOME TAX
Additionally Friday, prior to his COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Justice hosted another briefing to discuss his proposal to repeal West Virginia’s personal income tax.

Click here to watch the Governor’s personal income tax briefing

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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