COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces West Virginia now 8% away from reaching vaccination goal for eligible population

5/25/2021

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Governor to unveil new vaccination incentives at next COVID-19 briefing
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.
STATE WITHIN 8% OF VACCINATION GOAL; NEW INCENTIVES TO BE ANNOUNCED
During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that out of 1,557,837 West Virginians ages 12 and older who are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, 887,388 of these individuals have received at least one dose of vaccine; a rate of nearly 57%.
As part of the Governor’s recently announced “Call to Arms” vaccine initiative, State COVID-19 pandemic response leaders have set a goal of administering at least one dose of the vaccine to 65% of all eligible residents by West Virginia’s 158th birthday on June 20, 2021.

“We are at 57% right now, so we’ve only got 8% to go,” Gov. Justice said. “So come on, West Virginia, just help me a little bit and we’ll get there.”
The Governor went on to announce that he will be meeting with members of his staff and the State’s pandemic response leadership team in the coming days to discuss the possibility of offering additional incentives to encourage West Virginians to get vaccinated.

“It seems a crying shame to have to come up with new incentives or ways to motivate and get more and more folks to come out and get vaccinated,” Gov. Justice said. “But let’s just be fair. If we’ve got the dollars and it allows us to get more folks vaccinated, then we need to do something.”

The Governor added that he plans to announce these new incentives during his next COVID-19 briefing later this week.

“I’m going to revisit with my team again. We’ve got a lot of suggestions for fun type things, where people could maybe pick up some stuff, whether it be some kind of prizes or whether it be cash,” Gov. Justice said. “If we can get our folks vaccinated, could you imagine what we’re going to save? Not only will we save lives and save people from incredible sickness but, between the magnitude of testing costs and other things, it would be off the charts as to what we would save in dollars.”
VACCINATED RESIDENTS AGES 16-35 CAN NOW REGISTER TO RECEIVE $100 SAVINGS BOND OR $100 GIFT CARD
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder of his recent announcement that online registration is now open for his “Beat 588...Bad” West Virginia Strong Vaccine Incentive Program.

All West Virginians ages 16-35 who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are now able to register online to receive either a $100 savings bond or a $100 gift card.

The $100 incentive is retroactive, meaning all West Virginians ages 16-35 who have received the COVID-19 vaccine at any point are eligible.
FBI WARNS OF VACCINE SURVEY SCAM
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice advised West Virginians that the FBI is warning all Americans about a new scam targeting those who have been vaccinated.

Federal officials say that scammers are emailing or texting individuals who have been vaccinated, asking them to take a post-vaccine survey to be entered into a lottery for money. However, they ask for your personal information and then steal your identity.

“Do not give people personal information because, once they get that information, they’re going to try to steal from you,” Gov. Justice said. “If we come up with a new program, you’ll see it here at one of our briefings or on our website.”

FBI officials also warn people not to post photos of vaccine cards on social media, because they contain personal information that could be stolen to commit fraud.
DHHR’S VITAL REGISTRATION OFFICE REOPENS WALK-UP SERVICES
In her remarks during Tuesday’s briefing, State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad announced that the West Virginia DHHR’s Vital Registration Office has reopened walk-up services to the public, allowing individuals to obtain certified copies of birth, death, and marriage certificates in-person. 

The office is located in the Diamond Building at 350 Capitol Street in Charleston and is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks and queue lines are arranged in the Diamond Building lobby to direct the flow of people and continue encouraging social distancing.

Click here to read more
FACE COVERING REQUIREMENT LIFTED FOR FULLY VACCINATED WEST VIRGINIANS ONLY
Gov. Justice recently modified West Virginia’s face covering requirement to align with updated CDC guidance, which says that anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, regardless of crowd size.

The lifting of the face covering requirement only applies to those who have been fully vaccinated; meaning that at least two weeks have elapsed since the administration of a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or that at least two weeks have elapsed since the administration of a first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement is still in effect for all West Virginians who are not yet fully vaccinated, and will remain in effect for these individuals until June 20, 2021.

Face coverings must still be worn where required by federal law. Additionally, any private business or school system can still require individuals to wear a face covering.

As part of the Governor’s recently announced “Call to Arms” vaccine initiative, State COVID-19 pandemic response leaders have set goals of vaccinating 65% of all eligible West Virginians, 75% of West Virginians age 50 and older, and 85% of West Virginians age 65 and older with at least one dose by West Virginia’s 158th birthday on June 20, 2021; the same day that the Governor plans to lift the Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement for all residents.

According to the CDC, currently authorized vaccines in the United States are highly effective at protecting vaccinated people against symptomatic and severe COVID-19. Additionally, a growing body of evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people are less likely to have asymptomatic infection or transmit COVID-19 to others.
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
COVID-19 vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians ages 12 and older.

All West Virginians interested in being vaccinated are urged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call 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.

Free COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at several West Virginia state parks and forests between now and Memorial Day for employees, employees’ families, and all park guests. Clinic dates will be posted on the West Virginia State Parks COVID-19 Travel Alert webpage as they become available.

At the direction of Gov. Justice, West Virginia continues to expand vaccine access in innovative new ways, including setting up vaccination sites at several high-traffic locations across the state, offering vaccines through senior organizations, collaborating with hospitals and healthcare facilities to vaccinate patients, communicating vaccination information with younger West Virginians through social media and streaming services, and much more.

In addition to clinic locations, vaccinations 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 visit vaccines.gov for assistance in locating and securing an appointment at one of these federal pharmacy partners.
The Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) on COVID-19 vaccines continues to ask manufacturers and businesses across the state to increase vaccine access for employees and their families by reaching out to the JIATF to organize vaccination clinics at their facilities. Additionally, church leaders are still 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 DATA AVAILABLE AT CORONAVIRUS.WV.GOV
For more information about West Virginia’s latest COVID-19-related data, visit the West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard at Coronavirus.wv.gov.

The dashboard provides a detailed breakdown of case numbers, vaccination data, and more; including the color-coded County Alert Map system, hospitalization data, and several additional features.

The dashboard is updated Monday-Friday at 10 a.m.
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now six active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia, down from seven such outbreaks as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Thursday last week. The active outbreaks are located in Greenbrier, Hardy, Taylor, and Wetzel counties and account for a total of 43 cases, down over 63% from 119 such cases on Thursday last week.

There are now 10 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state, down from 16 such outbreaks as of Thursday last week.

The Governor also reported that there are now just two active inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, down from four such cases on Thursday last week. Meanwhile, there are now seven active staff cases across the DCR system, up from three such cases on Thursday last week. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.
COVID-19 TESTING STILL AVAILABLE ACROSS STATE
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 50 counties across the state that currently have free COVID-19 testing sites available through the Governor’s Aggressive Testing initiative.
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 or 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
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.
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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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