COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice makes vaccinations available to all West Virginians age 16 and older; fairs and festivals permitted to resume May 1

3/22/2021

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.

VACCINATIONS NOW AVAILABLE TO ALL WEST VIRGINIANS AGE 16 AND OLDER
During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia will start offering COVID-19 vaccines to all state residents age 16 and older, beginning immediately.

“As we continue to lead the nation with our vaccine distribution, we do not want to let our foot off the gas,” Gov. Justice said. “I encourage all West Virginians to take advantage of this opportunity and get vaccinated.”

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West Virginians who are age 65 and older will continue to be prioritized first until all state residents in that age range who desire to receive the vaccine have been vaccinated.

“At the same time, we have got to get more and more West Virginians vaccinated, and now is our time,” Gov. Justice said. “Let’s go, West Virginia. Let’s get everyone in the state vaccinated. That’s our goal.”

Gov. Justice went on to encourage all West Virginians age 16 and older wishing to be vaccinated to pre-register at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line at 1-833-734-0965.

FAIRS AND FESTIVALS WILL BE ALLOWED TO RESUME MAY 1
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced that all fairs, festivals, and similar events will be allowed to resume, beginning Saturday, May 1, 2021.

“These events are part of the fabric of our state. We want them to go on,” Gov. Justice said. “I expect all these events to continue following all safety guidelines in order to keep West Virginians safe if they choose to attend these events.”

Gov. Justice added that updated safety guidelines will be issued later this week on the West Virginia Strong – The Comeback page of the Governor’s website. 

“Unless there’s a real backslide with our numbers, we plan to have all of our fairs and festivals as we try to get back to some level of normalcy,” Gov. Justice said.

VACCINE DISTRIBUTION UPDATE
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia has now successfully administered 709,830 doses after receiving a total allotment of 737,730 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 96.2%.

West Virginia currently boasts a first dose administration rate of 102.2%, which exceeds 100% due to extra doses being extracted from vials of the vaccine, and a second dose administration rate of 87.7%.
  • First doses: 441,903 administered / 432,240 allotted
  • Second doses: 267,927 administered / 305,490 allotted
West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard (Click “Vaccine Summary” tab)
Vaccinations are now available to all West Virginians age 16 and older. However, West Virginians who are age 65 and older will continue to be prioritized first until all state residents in this age range who desire the vaccine have been vaccinated.

To date, 221,739 West Virginians age 65 and older have chosen to be vaccinated, including 150,487 who are now fully vaccinated. Including doses from the Veterans Administration and from the Federal Pharmacy Partnership with Walgreens, 70% of West Virginia’s 65 and older population has now been vaccinated.

Any West Virginians age 65 and older who are still waiting on an appointment are urged to call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965 to ensure that they are scheduled to be vaccinated. 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 provided a reminder of his announcement Friday that, in order to provide all West Virginians age 65 and older with better access to vaccinations, he has directed the Joint Interagency Task Force to set up three fixed-location clinics across the state to vaccinate West Virginia’s wisdom.

GOV. JUSTICE TO HOST MEETING WITH WEST VIRGINIA BUSINESS LEADERS ON PLAN TO REPEAL STATE INCOME TAX
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce that, at 4:00 p.m. today, he will host a panel of several business leaders from across West Virginia for a roundtable meeting to discuss his plan to repeal the state income tax.

The meeting will be live streamed to provide all West Virginians an opportunity to learn more about how the Governor's plan will benefit small businesses and put more net positive dollars in your pocket on day one.
“I really encourage each and every West Virginian to watch it, and watch it closely. I think, if you get the facts, you’ll come upon one decision: the Governor is right,” Gov. Justice said. “This is our time. My plan will put substantially more money in your pocket and it will make our small businesses go like crazy in West Virginia. 

“Every last one of you, by all the modeling my revenue people can possibly do, will end up with more money,” Gov. Justice continued. “Every household in West Virginia, as an average, will have an additional $1,483.”

Click here to view informational packet on the plan

COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS UPDATE
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 5,600, up from 5,349 as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Friday last week.

The number of active hospitalizations is now 198, down slightly from 199 on Friday last week. Of those currently hospitalized, 67 patients are in the ICU, down from 68 such patients on Friday last week.

The cumulative percent of positive cases is now 5.29%, down from 5.30% 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: 1
Orange counties: 8
Gold counties: 3
Yellow counties: 9
Green counties: 34

OUTBREAK REPORT
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there remain seven active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia. These outbreaks are located in Fayette, Monongalia, Nicholas, Raleigh, and Webster counties and account for a total of 85 cases.

There also remains just one outbreak in all of the long-term care facilities across the state.

The Governor also reported that there remain 31 inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system. Meanwhile, there remain just three active staff cases across the DCR system. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.

AGGRESSIVE TESTING CONTINUES ACROSS STATE
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 52 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

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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