COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces more than 62,000 West Virginians have pre-registered to be vaccinated after launch of new system

1/25/2021

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​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.
ONLINE COVID-19 VACCINE PRE-REGISTRATION SYSTEM LAUNCHES
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that, this morning, West Virginia became the first state in the nation to launch an online COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration system, available to the public through vaccinate.wv.gov.

The new digital tool allows West Virginians to add themselves to a statewide list of people who are interested in being vaccinated, and will notify those who sign up about the availability of vaccine doses to help streamline vaccination efforts.

As of 6 p.m. Monday, more than 62,000 West Virginians had already signed up to be added to the pre-registration list.

“Once again, we’re doing an outstanding job and leading the nation in our approach to get this vaccine rolled out,” Gov. Justice said. “I am excited to get this system in place and I truly hope it will be a big benefit to West Virginians so you’re not sitting there, dialing and dialing, which is ridiculous, and I hate like crazy you’ve had to do that, so that we can continue to lead the nation in getting vaccines in arms.”

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West Virginians who currently qualify to be vaccinated and who are interested in doing so can pre-register online or call the COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line (1-833-734-0965) to get help pre-registering.

“It’s important to remember, this is just a pre-registration,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s a way to make it more convenient, so you’re not having to call on the phone over and over and you can’t get through. I hate that like crazy. That’s why we’ve done this; to make it more simple and more convenient, because we don’t want people on the phone for forever and a day.”

Users will get a message after registering to confirm they are in the system, and will be sent updates regularly. The system sends texts, email, and phone calls.
VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE; WEST VIRGINIA FEATURED ON FRONT PAGE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia remains among the national leaders in the rate of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration.

National COVID-19 vaccination trackers: CDC | Bloomberg

According to the latest vaccine numbers posted to the COVID-19 Dashboard Monday morning, West Virginia now boasts a first dose administration rate of 106.4 percent.

“This is a hard number to believe,” Gov. Justice said. “You’d say, ‘Well, how in the world can you exceed 100 percent of what you’ve got?’ Well, we’re getting more doses out of the vials than what was originally anticipated.”

Meanwhile, West Virginia now has a second dose administration rate of 53.3 percent, which also ranks among the best such rates in the nation.

To-date, West Virginia has administered 166,358 first doses and 40,258 second doses, totaling 206,616 doses administered overall statewide.

“I congratulate our healthcare workers, the National Guard, the DHHR, everybody that’s had to listen to me scream, jump up and down, and do everything in the world, but really and truly, it’s working,” Gov. Justice said. “I thank you so much for all the great work you’ve done.”
The Governor went on to announce that free vaccination clinics for all West Virginians age 65 and older will be held in 17 counties across the state this week through operation “Save Our Wisdom,” including in Berkeley, Braxton, Brooke, Cabell, Greenbrier, Hancock, Hardy, Harrison, Kanawha, Logan, Marshall, Mercer, Monongalia, Pocahontas, Raleigh, Randolph, and Wyoming counties.

Visit vaccinate.wv.gov to view all current clinic locations and schedules.

To-date, there have been 73,751 individuals in the 65 and older population in West Virginia who have chosen to get vaccinated and 8,968 who are fully vaccinated.

Qualifying residents from any county in West Virginia may access an appointment at any vaccination clinic with availability, regardless of their county of residence. However, many clinics are full at this time and are utilizing waitlists. All clinics require appointments and walk-ins will not be accepted.

The Governor also offered a reminder of his recent announcement that the community vaccination clinic model will be expanded to serve all 55 counties in West Virginia by Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Counties will receive a number of vaccine doses based on their population and be allocated the same amount every week.

Gov. Justice also took time to announce that West Virginia’s success with COVID-19 vaccine distribution continues to garner the attention of national news outlets, including The New York Times, which published a front-page story Monday titled “How West Virginia Became a U.S. Leader in Vaccine Rollout” (paywall) by Sarah Mervosh.

“West Virginia, we continue to lead the nation in every way” Gov. Justice said. “Everybody knows just how great West Virginia is doing. All I can say is pour it on West Virginia; keep doing it.”
GOV. JUSTICE ATTENDS FUNERAL OF LATE VETERANS ASSISTANCE SECRETARY DENNIS DAVIS
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 and shared that, earlier in the morning, he attended the funeral of his late Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance, Dennis Davis.
“What a man,” Gov. Justice said. “His smile was infectious. He was a big guy that always just lit up the room. His family's really hurting and it's just tough.”

During the funeral, Gov. Justice presented Davis’ family with the Distinguished West Virginian Award in his honor.
“It was just amazing what his commitment was to our Veterans and what a great job that he did, and, boy, what a wonderful friend,” Gov. Justice said. “I can tell you, from my standpoint, I really miss him.”
GOVERNOR CELEBRATES COVID-19 VACCINE PARTNERSHIP IN NORTH CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
Following his regular COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Justice took time to make remarks during a joint announcement Monday afternoon by elected leaders in Monongalia County, the Monongalia County Health Department, Mon Health System, and WVU Medicine, that all of these entities will be combining resources to maximize vaccination efforts in North Central West Virginia.

“I want to thank all these incredible organizations for their leadership as we work together to provide vaccines and save lives in North Central West Virginia and across our entire state,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said. “This is the ‘super-hub’ model that I hope we can expand statewide so that we can efficiently vaccinate as many West Virginians as possible. West Virginia leads the nation in distributing COVID-19 vaccines because we know how to work together, using a common-sense approach, to get things done.”

The new partnership will unite community vaccination efforts utilizing the existing clinic that WVU Medicine established last week at the Morgantown Mall.

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COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 24,365, down from 25,737 as of the Governor’s previous COVID-19 briefing last Thursday.

The number of daily active cases in West Virginia has now decreased for nine straight days.

The Governor added that the statewide rate of COVID-19 transmission – also known as Rt – remained at 0.87 Monday morning; currently tied for the fourth-best such rate of any state in the country.

The number of active hospitalizations is now 597 patients, down from 638 last Thursday, with 151 of those patients currently in the ICU.

The cumulative percent of positive cases is now 5.57 percent.

Click here to view the latest COVID-19 data
MONDAY MAP UPDATE
Also on Monday, 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: 15 (Berkeley, Boone, Brooke, Doddridge, Hampshire, Hardy, Marshall, Mingo, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Ritchie, Tyler, Wayne, Wetzel, Wirt)
Orange counties: 30 (Barbour, Braxton, Cabell, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson, Lincoln, Logan, Marion, Mason, Monongalia, Monroe, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pleasants, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Randolph, Roane, Taylor, Upshur, Webster, Wood, Wyoming)
Gold counties: 7 (Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, McDowell, Mineral, Summers)
Yellow counties: 2 (Lewis, Mercer)
Green counties: 1 (Tucker)
DHHR’s COVID-19 Dashboard (Click "County Alert System" tab)
OUTBREAK REPORT
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there remain six active church-related outbreaks across five counties: Clay, Hampshire, Nicholas, Summers, and Wetzel counties. These outbreaks account for a total of 47 cases, up from 30 cases last Thursday.

There are now 86 outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state, down from 98 outbreaks last Thursday.

The Governor also reported that there are now 261 inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, up from 163 last Thursday. Of these active inmate cases, 207 are at Lakin Correctional Center and 49 are at North Central Regional Jail. Meanwhile, there are now 39 active staff cases across the DCR system, up from 29 last Thursday.

Click here to view the latest corrections facility update
AGGRESSIVE TESTING CONTINUES ACROSS STATE
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 53 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
Additionally Monday, 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
Also on Monday, 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
Additionally Monday, 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.
FLU VACCINE REMINDER
Also on Monday, 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.
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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