COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces over 1 million West Virginians have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

7/6/2021

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Governor announces new vaccination goals for 65+ and 50+ populations
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.
WEST VIRGINIA SURPASSES 1 MILLION VACCINATED RESIDENTS; ANNOUNCES NEW VACCINATION GOALS
During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that more than 1 million West Virginians have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
To date, 1,005,135 West Virginians have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 836,954 West Virginians have been fully vaccinated.

“This is a huge milestone that we’ve hit,” Gov. Justice said. “You have done a whale of a job, West Virginia, and it’s because all of us have been pulling the rope together.”
“I congratulate everyone who has played a role in getting us to this point,” Gov. Justice said. “But we still have more work to do to get all of our residents vaccinated.”

The Governor went on to announce that, due to the success of statewide vaccination efforts – especially among residents ages 50 and older – surpassing the original goals established by medical experts, West Virginia’s COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team is establishing new vaccination goals for the state’s wisest populations.

These new goals include vaccinating at least 90% of all West Virginians ages 65 and older with at least one dose and vaccinating at least 85% of all West Virginians ages 50 and older with at least one dose.

“There’s a thing in athletics where you always want to raise the bar,” Gov. Justice said. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Currently, 87.3% of West Virginians ages 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, while 79.4% of West Virginians ages 50 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

“At first, we hoped like crazy we could get to 70% of our 65 and older population,” Gov. Justice said. “Then, all of a sudden, 75% became attainable, then 80%, then even 85%. It’s unbelievable. No one would have thought originally that would have been possible.

“Now we need to keep going,” Gov. Justice continued.
3RD ROUND OF “DO IT FOR BABYDOG” PRIZE WINNERS TO BE ANNOUNCED WEDNESDAY
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the 3rd round of prize winners through the “Do it for Babydog” Vaccination Sweepstakes will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, July 7.

Prize giveaways will include one cash prize of $1 million, two brand-new custom-outfitted trucks, five lifetime hunting licenses, five lifetime fishing licenses, five custom hunting rifles, five custom hunting shotguns, and 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia State Parks for vaccinated West Virginians ages 18 and older. Two full four-year scholarships to any public institution in the state will also be given away to vaccinated West Virginians ages 12-25.

Over 333,000 West Virginians have registered for the sweepstakes to date.

While the registration deadline to be eligible to win in the July 7 prize drawing has passed, all vaccinated West Virginians are still able and encouraged to register for future drawings at DoitforBabydog.wv.gov for an opportunity to join the list of winners.
CLICK TO REGISTER
“It’s absolutely a big deal. We’re going to change the lives of several people. It’s going to be wonderful,” Gov. Justice said. “If you’re vaccinated, all you’ve got to do is register. It takes just one minute to do so.”
“For those folks who haven’t been vaccinated, they’re in a lottery too. I just read four people that we’ve lost from COVID,” Gov. Justice continued. “There’s no sense in the world to not get vaccinated. It’s a tremendous risk.”
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
Additional prize drawings will be held every Wednesday through August 4.

The final drawing will include a $1.588 million grand prize and a $588,000 second prize in addition to all the weekly prizes listed above.
VACCINE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Free COVID-19 vaccinations are 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.

All West Virginians who have received one dose of the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines need to remember to get their second dose as well to ensure maximum protection against COVID-19.
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
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 took time to point out that 53 of West Virginia’s 55 counties are currently Green in the County Alert Map.

The Governor went on to report that there are currently zero active outbreaks associated with churches and five active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.

Meanwhile, there are currently two active inmate case and six active staff cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation system. 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
GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES AVAILABILITY OF REDUCED-PRICE LIFETIME HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES FOR KIDS AGES 15 AND YOUNGER
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce the availability of reduced-price lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for kids ages 15 and younger through a new tiered pricing program.

The regular price of a lifetime hunting and fishing license is $805. Under the new pricing tier system, lifetime licenses for kids age 15 and younger are priced as follows:
  • Before 1st birthday: $322 (60% off)
  • Before 5th birthday: $442.75 (45% off)
  • Before 10th birthday: $603.75 (25% off)
  • Before 15th birthday: $724.50 (10% off)
“The more and more kids that we can get out and enjoying the outdoors, the better,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s a great, great bargain. It will spark a lifetime love of the outdoors and create so many memories. Our kids have so many pressures today.

“You talk about doing something for a child that absolutely will help that child in so many ways as they go forward in life; get them out in the woods, get them in our streams and let them enjoy something that is so special it is off the charts,” Gov. Justice continued. “You can’t do anything better than a kid for that in my book.”

Click here to read more
GOVERNOR DISCUSSES FATAL BOATING ACCIDENT
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice took time to discuss a boating accident at Stonewall Jackson Lake over the weekend that took the life of a 29-year-old woman.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” Gov. Justice said. “Our DNR patrols were on the lake and were able to quickly respond to the scene. But when it really boils right down to it, if you go out on any lake and you see all kinds of boats flying around – a lot of congestion and a lot of traffic – you’ve got to be careful and really watch what you’re doing. Please don’t be out driving a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You’ve got to remember to always wear a life vest. It’s not a place where you can drop your guard.”
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES APPOINTMENT OF TIA WELCH AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that he has appointed Tia L. Welch as Executive Director of the West Virginia Human Rights Commission, an agency under the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

This appointment is effective immediately.

“Tia has done lots of great stuff and I know she’ll do a fabulous job,” Gov. Justice said. “We congratulate her and we’re blessed to have her.”

Appointed as Director of the West Virginia Equal Employment Opportunity Office in March 2019, Welch worked to increase state agencies’ understanding of and compliance with equal employment laws and practices to prevent workplace harassment and discrimination, and collaborated with other agencies to promote diversity and inclusion and eliminate barriers to employment.

Prior to that, Welch served as an Employer Engagement Specialist for Goodwill Industries of the Kanawha Valley and worked for the Charleston Job Corps Center in various roles for nearly 20 years.

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.
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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

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