COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice celebrates full weekend with zero COVID-19-related deaths reported


Governor and state medical experts continue to urge vaccinations to defend against Delta variant
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.
During Tuesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that zero new COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in West Virginia since his previous briefing on Friday last week.

Click here to view West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard

“I want you to remember this day – July 20, 2021 – because I do not have a single death to report to you from over the weekend,” Gov. Justice said.
“We’re still not out of the woods, we know that,” Gov. Justice added. “We’ve lost 2,919 folks in West Virginia, we still have a little over 1,000 active cases, and we’ve still got a bunch of folks in our hospitals and ICUs. But we have come a long, long way, West Virginia.

“We have been the miracle of our nation; a state that was labeled the most vulnerable of all the states, and yet, you’ve led the way over and over,” Gov. Justice continued. “We jumped out ahead of everybody with our vaccination rates because we identified that this disease attacks the elderly and we moved. You have a lot to be really proud of.

“Now, we don’t want to drop our guard, and we want to continue to get more and more folks vaccinated. But today is a big day of celebration and I could not be any happier. I congratulate all the medical experts, the healthcare community, all the first responders, our National Guard, and everyone who has stepped up over and over again.

“Let’s hope and pray that this will become the new normal as we go forward and we’ll get a lot more days like today, and that eventually we’ll be able to extinguish this killer.”
Additionally Tuesday, Gov. Justice reported that State pandemic response leaders continue to closely monitor the Delta variant of COVID-19 in West Virginia.

There are now 22 confirmed Delta variant cases spread across 11 West Virginia counties; up from 19 such cases as of the Governor’s previous briefing on Friday last week.

Once again, the Governor encouraged all West Virginians who have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 to do so as soon as possible.

“In West Virginia, we don’t have a major problem today, but it is ever so slightly creeping up,” Gov. Justice said.
During his remarks, West Virginia Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh discussed how the Delta variant has begun to spread faster throughout the country; accounting for 83% of the nation’s new cases on July 19, compared to just 58% on July 17.

“As we track West Virginia’s cases, we know that the Delta variant will take a stronger and stronger hold on us as well,” Dr. Marsh said.

“The Delta variant is a preventable viral infection,” Dr. Marsh continued. “It is one, though, that in the unvaccinated, is causing more severe problems, including in children and young adults.

“Dr. Scott Gottlieb – who was the Food and Drug Administration lead under President Donald Trump – said that, if you are not vaccinated for COVID-19, you will become infected with the Delta variant and it will be the most severe viral infection that you’ve ever faced in your life.

“Although those are very dramatic words, we are really concerned about the folks that are not vaccinated and those that aren’t fully vaccinated. We urge all West Virginians who are not currently fully vaccinated to please choose vaccination. There is still time, but the Delta variant is here and growing in West Virginia, as it is across the rest of the country.”
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that the 5th round of prize winners through the “Do it for Babydog” Vaccination Sweepstakes will be announced tomorrow, Wednesday, July 21.

“We’ll make another West Virginian a millionaire, and we’ll be giving away all kinds of great prizes once again,” Gov. Justice said.
Prize giveaways for vaccinated West Virginians ages 18 and older 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. Additionally, two vaccinated West Virginians ages 12-25 will receive a full four-year scholarship to any public institution in the state.

Over 358,000 West Virginians have registered for the sweepstakes to date.

While the registration deadline to be eligible to win in the July 21 prize drawing has passed, all vaccinated West Virginians are still able and encouraged to register for future drawings at for an opportunity to join the list of winners.
Additional prize drawings will be held every Wednesday through August 4.

The final drawing will include two cash prizes, including a $1.588 million grand prize and a $588,000 second prize.
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 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.
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 for assistance in locating and securing an appointment at one of these federal pharmacy partners.
For more information about West Virginia’s latest COVID-19-related data, visit the West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard at

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 currently five active outbreaks reported at churches in Cabell, Marion, McDowell, and Webster counties. Additionally, there are currently two active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.

Meanwhile, there is currently one active inmate case and four active staff cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation system. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.
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 signed Executive Order 23-21 on Tuesday, declaring that, effective as of Oct. 1, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., Section 14 of Executive Order 7-20, providing for the suspension of “Deadlines for annual vehicle inspections (W. Va. Code § 17C-16-1, et seq.),” shall be terminated and without further effect. 
Additionally, Gov. Justice took time to announce that, before Tuesday's briefing, he attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a project to restore the Buffalo Creek Gauley Rail Corridor.
The Buffalo Creek Gauley Rail Corridor had been an instrumental economic asset to Clay County since 1904. At its peak, coal was removed from the mountains around Widen, WV, and brought to Dundon, WV, where it was loaded onto the Baltimore Ohio Railroad for use across America.

The rail line remained functional for over a century, until it was severely damaged in the flood of June 2016.

After years of work to identify the full scope of the damage, a FEMA-funded project to repair the corridor and restore pre-flood main line capacity and function is set to commence.

“We’re here today celebrating something that’s going to bring more and more goodness back to an area that has given so much to our state and our entire nation over the years,” Gov. Justice said at Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony in Clay County. “A lot of people have put in a lot of licks to make this project happen, and I’m very proud to have played a small part.”
The Governor thanked the state and local officials who supported the project and were in attendance for Tuesday’s event, including West Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Roger Hanshaw, Delegate Brent Boggs, Clay County Business Development Authority President Mitch DeBoard, members of the Clay County Commission, and officials from the Town of Clay. The Governor also thanked FEMA for providing the funding needed to complete the project.

“All of the work that’s going on along Buffalo Creek and the Elk River is really coming together,” Gov. Justice said during Tuesday’s briefing. “Clay County can already see a difference in the number of people that are visiting that area.”

In May 2019, Gov. Justice announced plans to build a major rail trail along the Elk River and Buffalo Creek in the same area. This project, which is currently underway, aims to utilize 72 miles of existing rail lines in Clay and Kanawha counties and either repurpose the tracks for recreational purposes or convert them into trails for walking, hiking, biking, and more.

The planned trail network has the potential to become the second-longest rail trail east of the Mississippi.

“We’re really proud of all the stuff that’s going on,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s a big deal for tourism in West Virginia.”

West Virginia Department of Tourism Secretary Chelsea Ruby and West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel were also on-hand for Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Also on Tuesday, Gov. Justice took time to spotlight the world-class basketball action underway in Charleston this week.

“We’ve got a great basketball tournament going on in Charleston with the teams playing for a million bucks,” Gov. Justice said. “It’s really good stuff.”

The event, named simply “The Basketball Tournament,” features teams from across the country competing for a $1 million+, winner-take-all grand prize.

One of four regional tournaments is taking place this week at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, and includes teams made up of alumni from West Virginia University and Marshall University.

Click here to learn more

While Marshall’s alumni team “Herd That” lost in a tightly-contested second round matchup, WVU’s alumni team “Best Virginia” remains alive in the single-elimination tournament, advancing to the Sweet 16, with their next game scheduled for Wednesday, July 21, at 9 p.m.

Click here to view game schedule

“I would tell all West Virginians to get out and go support this tournament,” Gov. Justice said. “This is just another driver of economic boost to the Charleston area.

“Go support this great event for the Charleston area and these great kids,” Gov. Justice continued. “What a great effort they’re making. We’re really proud of them.”
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
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward

Contact Information

Jordan Damron,


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:

Flag Status

American Flag Full Staff
State Flag Full Staff

Banner Images Courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce

Site Map