COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces all vaccinated West Virginians ages 16-35 can now register to receive $100 savings bond or $100 gift card

5/20/2021

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Gov. Justice congratulates Marshall University Men’s Soccer team on winning first National Championship in program history
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.
VACCINATED RESIDENTS AGES 16-35 CAN NOW REGISTER TO RECEIVE $100 SAVINGS BOND OR $100 GIFT CARD
During Thursday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced 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.

“Please go and register for your $100,” Gov. Justice said. “We really appreciate you getting vaccinated. Not only are you picking up a few extra bucks here, but you may very well have saved your life or saved others.

“We’re going to continue with this program,” Gov. Justice continued. “We want all 16-35-year-olds to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
ALL WEST VIRGINIA SENIOR CENTERS REOPENING FULLY
Also on Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that all senior centers across the state are ready to reopen fully.

The Governor went on to announce that the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services would be issuing safety guidelines Thursday afternoon.

Anyone who has not been fully vaccinated will still be required to wear a face covering inside the centers.

“You see, it’s just more and more motivation,” Gov. Justice said. “Anyone who has not been fully vaccinated is going to have to put up with wearing a mask in these centers. Please get vaccinated.”
WEST VIRGINIA UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DECREASES FOR 12TH STRAIGHT MONTH
Additionally Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has decreased once again, dropping one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.8% in April 2021. 

West Virginia’s unemployment rate has declined for 12 consecutive months and remains better than the national unemployment rate of 6.1%.

“West Virginia is still kicking butt there and doing really good,” Gov. Justice said.

The number of unemployed state residents decreased by 1,500 to 45,800.

“Total employment was up by 1,700 for the month,” Gov. Justice said. “All that’s good, but we’ve still got a ways to go there, we’ve still got a lot of folks we can get back to work.”

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

Click here to view available jobs in West Virginia
THIRD HISTORIC ROAD BOND SALE GENERATES MORE THAN $62.5 MILLION IN PREMIUM PROCEEDS
Gov. Justice also offered a reminder of his announcement yesterday that the State of West Virginia has sold $200 million in General Obligation State Road Bonds, Series 2021 A (“2021A GO Bonds”), and generated over $262.5 million in proceeds – a premium of over $62.5 million – to be used for new highway, bridge, and secondary road construction projects throughout the state.

The premium rate achieved in this sale marks the highest premium rate of any of the State’s road bond packages to date. The 2021A GO Bonds represent the third and final issuance of general obligation bonds under the Governor’s Roads To Prosperity program.

“The thing that I’m most proud of is just this – and I’ve told you over and over, I’m not a politician, I’m a business guy –  our advisers came to me and said ‘Governor, because interest rates have risen a little bit and because of all the uncertainty that’s out there, we think we would be best suited on this last $200 million if we went to a private sale.’ In other words, we wouldn’t be exposed but, naturally, you wouldn’t get the best deal,” Gov. Justice said. “Now, there are points in time where I’ve got to make the tough decisions. In this situation, I’m just going to tell you straight up, the decision was easy for me.

“You see, I believe in West Virginia, and I truly believe the world is beginning to really believe in West Virginia,” Gov. Justice continued. “So I said ‘We’re going to the market. We’re going to take the risk.’ And boom; we got the lowest interest rate and the biggest premium-per-dollar that we went into the marketplace for through this program because we believed in West Virginia. We believed in you.

“So I congratulate everyone. I am tickled to death that we went to the market. I still believe in this state in every way, and the market reflects just that; they believe in us too. And when you’re hearing that all across the land, we don’t need to walk around with our heads down anymore, we need to walk around with our heads held up and happy about who we are.”

Click here to read more
GOV. JUSTICE CONGRATULATES MARSHALL UNIVERSITY MEN’S SOCCER ON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP VICTORY
Additionally, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks about COVID-19 to congratulate the Marshall University Thundering Herd Men’s Soccer team for winning the program’s first ever National Championship Monday night.

The Governor, himself an alumnus of Marshall University, traveled to Cary, NC, to witness the championship match.

“A lot of people asked me if I was going to go and I said it would’ve taken bulldozers to keep me away,” said Gov. Justice, who watched as the Thundering Herd scored in overtime to defeat second-ranked and perennial college soccer powerhouse Indiana University by a final score of 1-0.
“You've got the National Champions in West Virginia. I get choked up just talking about it,” Gov. Justice said. “I could not be more congratulatory. I love it; any success that comes to us and puts the spotlight on West Virginia is so good. Every one of us is proud.

“What a night it was. It was just a real honor for me to be there representing West Virginia, and I was one proud puppy that’s all there is to it.”
VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians age 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.

The Governor offered a reminder that free COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at all West Virginia State Parks and State Forests between now and Memorial Day. Several state park and forest locations will host clinics prior to Memorial Day. Then, on Memorial Day weekend, all West Virginia State Parks and Forests will offer vaccines to employees, employees’ families, and park guests. Further details will be posted at wvstateparks.com as they become available.

West Virginia also continues to implement several new ideas to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible than ever.

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 go to 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 VACCINATION AND CASE 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 and additional features.

The dashboard is updated Monday-Friday at 10 a.m.
On Thursday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now seven active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia, down from nine such outbreaks as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Monday. The active outbreaks are located in Greenbrier, Hardy, Nicholas, and Wetzel counties and account for a total of 119 cases, down from 158 such cases on Monday.

There remain 16 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.

The Governor also reported that there are now four active inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, down from 10 such cases on Monday. Meanwhile, there are now three active staff cases across the DCR system, down from four such cases on Monday. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.
AGGRESSIVE TESTING CONTINUES ACROSS STATE
Also on Thursday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 50 counties across the state that currently 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 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

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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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