COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice announces zero COVID-19-related deaths reported in past 24 hours; state to receive 15,500 doses of new vaccine this week

3/1/2021

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.

ZERO COVID-19-RELATED DEATHS REPORTED IN PAST 24 HOURS
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that zero new COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in West Virginia over the past 24 hours.

Click here to view West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard

“This is something that has been a long time coming,” Gov. Justice said. “I am so delighted by this, it’s unbelievable.”

This marks the first time since Nov. 27, 2020, where West Virginia has gone a full day without a single COVID-19-related death being reported.

“West Virginia, you’re doing better; it’s really, really good,” Gov. Justice said. “But, on Saturday and Sunday, we still had nine deaths reported. We hate like crazy to think about these nine people, and absolutely all their families that are hurting and all their loved ones. Please don’t let them become just a statistic.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTO ALBUM

WEST VIRGINIA TO RECEIVE 15,500 DOSES OF NEW JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE THIS WEEK
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that, following the FDA’s emergency authorization of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine over the weekend, West Virginia is set to receive an initial allocation of 15,500 doses of the new vaccine this week.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one shot, unlike the two-shot dosing for the vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna and it does not require special refrigeration for shipment and storage, making it particularly appealing for use in West Virginia’s rural areas.

In addition, the Governor announced that West Virginia will also be receiving 36,270 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 34,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week.

“We’re ready for these doses. We’re going to knock them out just as fast as they get here,” Gov. Justice said. “Again, I thank all those that have pushed and pushed on the federal government to get us more vaccines.”

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE: NEARLY HALF OF STATE’S 65+ POPULATION NOW VACCINATED
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice announced that nearly half of all West Virginia residents age 65 and older have now received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine through operation “Save Our Wisdom.”

The SOW vaccination clinics, which continue to operate in all 55 counties statewide each week, have now provided vaccinations to 170,512 West Virginians age 65+, including 99,528 who are now fully vaccinated.

“This is one of the numbers we should absolutely be most proud of,” Gov. Justice said. “I want to continue to encourage all those age 65 and older to get registered.”

Each clinic location has its own, unique schedule. Names are being pulled from the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Registration System to fill out appointments after waitlists are exhausted. All clinics require appointments and walk-ins will not be accepted.
West Virginia was the first state in the nation to put a statewide vaccination pre-registration system in place. The new digital tool allows West Virginians to add themselves to a 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.

To date, more than 310,000 West Virginians have signed up to be added to the pre-registration list.

All West Virginians over the age of 16 are encouraged to pre-register at vaccinate.wv.gov.

Vaccine supplies are limited, so pre-registration does not mean immediate access to vaccination. Pre-registration offers West Virginians the opportunity to receive real-time updates on vaccine availability and schedule an appointment when available as vaccine supplies allow. The vaccine registration system allows people to select their preferences for communication through text, email, or voicemail over regular phone lines.

West Virginians who need assistance with registration for any reason should call the COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line for help at 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 went on to say that increased emphasis on pre-registrations is needed in a handful of counties across the state, including Berkeley, Jackson, Jefferson, Mason, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Morgan, and Wayne counties. The Governor urged West Virginians in these counties with friends and family age 65 and older to help these individuals get pre-registered.
Meanwhile, the Governor also reported that West Virginia remains among the national leaders in the rate of COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration.

As of Monday morning, 11.7 percent of West Virginia's entire population has received both doses of the vaccines; a rate so high that, if West Virginia were its own country, it would rank as the 7th-best rate of any nation in the world.

West Virginia has successfully administered 496,698 doses after receiving a total allotment of 520,535 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 95.4%.

West Virginia boasts a first dose administration rate of 91.8% and a second dose administration rate of 101.5%, which exceeds 100% due to extra doses being extracted from vials of the vaccine.
  • First doses: 298,942 administered / 325,745 allotted
  • Second doses: 197,756 administered / 194,790 allotted
West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard (Click “Vaccine Summary” tab)

WEST VIRGINIA COVERING COST OF ACT EXAM FOR SENIORS APPLYING FOR PROMISE SCHOLARSHIP; APPLICATION DEADLINE TO BE PUSHED BACK
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that, in consultation with Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, Chancellor of the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC), he is authorizing $341,000 in federal GEER funding to cover the cost of ACT on-campus exams for seniors applying for the Promise Scholarship.

According to ACT, West Virginia is the first state in the nation to cover these testing costs for seniors.

The Governor also announced that he has also asked Chancellor Tucker to request that the HEPC push back the Promise Scholarship application deadline, which was originally scheduled for midnight tonight.

“I am incredibly honored to be able to allocate this funding and make West Virginia the first state in the nation to cover these testing costs for our high school seniors,” Gov. Justice said. “I thank Chancellor Tucker and the entire West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission for also working quickly on my request to extend the Promise Scholarship application deadline. We want our next generation of leaders in this great state to have every opportunity in the world to continue their education beyond high school in one of our world-class higher education institutions.”

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GOVERNOR URGES CAUTION AS MANY REGIONS FACE RISK OF FLOODING
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks about COVID-19 to discuss the ongoing high water and flooding situations developing across West Virginia.

“While the rain is ending this morning – praise the Lord – numerous rivers, creeks, and streams are still raging with high water,” Gov. Justice said. “You’ve got to know, in our state, with our mountains, there significant flooding can happen very quickly. You’ve got to be on guard about that and know there can be loss of life. You’ve got to be very careful.”

Larger rivers will experience flooding over the next couple of days with the lower reaches of the Ohio River not forecast to crest until Wednesday.

On Saturday evening, Gov. Justice declared a State of Preparedness for 48 counties across West Virginia at risk of significant flooding.

The State Emergency Operations Center is running 24/7 to coordinate the State’s response to this flooding.

The Emergency Management Division has been coordinating with all county and local emergency management to provide updates.

The Pocahontas County Office of Emergency Management and the Town of Marlinton have issued a voluntary evacuation order for residents in low-lying areas of Marlinton.

The Greenbrier River and Knapps Creek have risen to the point that streets are blocked and roads in and out of the town are becoming impassable.

A shelter has been established at the Marlinton Middle School for those who need it.

Additional updates will be provided as they become available.

GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES $34.2M REVENUE SURPLUS FOR FEBRUARY
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia’s general revenue collections for the month of February 2021 came in at $34.2 million above estimates and 7.4% above prior year receipts, despite the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the state’s economy.
“We are really proud of how we’ve handled the economics of this state through the pandemic,” Gov. Justice said. “My job is always to look out for the health and safety of our people, but it is also my job to ‘mind the store’ and take care of the economics of our state.”

Year-to-date general revenue collections are now $208 million above estimates and 4.9% above prior year receipts.
West Virginia has now banked surpluses in seven of the first eight months of Fiscal Year 2021.

“These numbers are terrified and we’re just going to keep after it,” Gov. Justice said.

Click to read monthly revenue and cash flow reports from the West Virginia State Budget Office

GOV. JUSTICE ANNOUNCES THIRD VIRTUAL TOWN HALL ON PLAN TO REPEAL STATE INCOME TAX TO TAKE PLACE TOMORROW AT NOON
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice took time to announce that he will hold his third virtual town hall on his Personal Income Tax Repeal Proposal tomorrow, Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 12 p.m., to answer West Virginians’ questions about the plan.

“Send your questions in, we’ll answer as many as we possibly can to try, in every way we possibly can, to better educate the public about the implications and the impact of this opportunity,” Gov. Justice said. “This is a chance for us in the state of West Virginia to really bring job growth, increase wages, increase property values, and more.”

“We want to try to do this with a net savings, where we put extra dollars in every single West Virginian's pocket, while, at the same time, driving all kinds of potential growth to West Virginia,” Gov. Justice continued.
CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT A QUESTION
All West Virginians are encouraged to watch the live stream of the virtual town hall on the Governor’s social media accounts:
YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

You can also submit a question and watch the live stream of the virtual town hall on the Governor’s website.

GOVERNOR HONORS 125 WEST VIRGINIA NATIONAL GUARD SOLDIERS DEPLOYED TO MIDDLE EAST
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice took time to offer his prayers and best wishes to the 125 soldiers from the West Virginia National Guard’s 111th Engineer Brigade, who deployed for the Middle East yesterday.

Their mission will be to conduct engineer tasks such as project development and construction missions while also supporting our partner nations.

“Cathy and I send our best wishes and wish Godspeed to these great men and women to do the mission, protect us and our great country, and to get home safely,” Gov. Justice said. “I believe we owe everything we have in this country to the active military and those who have served. I say it over and over; what these people give is unbelievable and what they ask is nothing. Please keep them in your prayers.”

COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 6,997, down from 7,800 as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Friday last week. This marks the first time West Virginia has fallen below 7,000 active cases since Nov. 8, 2020.

The number of daily active cases in West Virginia has now decreased for 44 straight days.

The number of active hospitalizations is now 225, down from 267 on Friday last week. Of those currently hospitalized, 59 patients are in the ICU, down from 62 such patients on Friday last week.

The cumulative percent of positive cases has decreased to 5.46%, down from 5.48% on Friday last week.

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: 0
Orange counties: 4
Gold counties: 13
Yellow counties: 15
Green counties: 23

OUTBREAK REPORT
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there remains just one church-related outbreak in West Virginia. This outbreak is in Webster County and accounts for a total of just five cases.

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

The Governor also reported that there are now 83 inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, up from 37 on Friday last week. Meanwhile, there are now 17 active staff cases across the DCR system, up from 15 on Friday last week. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.

AGGRESSIVE TESTING CONTINUES ACROSS STATE
Also on Monday, 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

GOVERNOR UNVEILS ONLINE MAP OF ALL 2021 ROAD PROJECTS STATEWIDE
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice took time to announce that the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s online project map, which shows every bridge, road, and maintenance project in the state for 2021, is now live.
Click here to view 2021 road projects map

“Our entire team at the Department of Transportation – from the crews fixing our roads every day, to the staff members responsible for putting together this map, and many others – continue to raise the bar in West Virginia year after year,” Gov. Justice said. “We still have a lot more work to do and many more roads to fix, but we’re going to stay right after it. Our roads didn’t get like this on my watch, but on my watch we’re trying to fix it, we’re trying to turn it around.”
Since Gov. Justice directed WVDOT leaders to make maintaining secondary roads the organization’s top priority in March 2019, Highways crews have completed nearly 70,000 miles-worth of roadwork, including paving, patching, ditching, stabilization, and more.

The map allows users to search for any address or zoom in on any area of the state to view the types of work that are upcoming, underway, or have already been completed. The map homepage also includes an instructional video, demonstrating how to use the map.

Click here to read more

GOV. JUSTICE PROCLAIMS MONDAY AS “WEST VIRGINIA HISTORY DAY”
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice took time to announce that he signed a proclamation, officially declaring Monday as West Virginia History Day.

Click here to view proclamation
The purpose of History Day is to recognize the importance of the rich culture and history of the Mountain State. Usually, this annual event is part of History Day at the Legislature, but it was cancelled this year due to the pandemic. 

“Over the past 25 years, hundreds of dedicated West Virginians have been recognized by the historical community as ‘History Heroes,’” Gov. Justice said. “History Heroes are individuals who go beyond the call of duty to ensure the success of local historical organizations. Our Curator of Arts, Randall Reid-Smith, is holding a virtual event today to recognize the 17 History Heroes for 2021.

“Join me in congratulating these 17 West Virginians on their accomplishment, and also celebrating our shared heritage,” Gov. Justice continued. “It’s a great state with great people. We should all be proud of our traditions and heritage, as I surely am.”

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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