COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice reminds young West Virginians of $100 savings bond incentive to get vaccinated as average age of cases decreases


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.
During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice continued his push to get younger West Virginians vaccinated, reiterating that the State is offering a $100 savings bond to all residents ages 16-35 who choose to get vaccinated, and announcing that the median age of West Virginians testing positive for COVID-19 has now dropped at 34 years old.

“When it recently came down to 44 years of age, we thought, ‘Uh oh. We’ve got a problem. We need to get our young people vaccinated,’” Gov. Justice said. “But now we’re down to 34, and that means we've got a ton of young people that are testing positive.”

“I’m telling our young people out there as point blank as I can tell you that you absolutely should be concerned,” Gov. Justice continued. “Even if you don't get sick, you can transmit this to others. That may be your granddad, your mom, or whomever, and we could lose them. The second thing is that there are side effects from this, and if you were positive today and you didn't even get sick, you may end up with a significant side effect throughout the rest of your life.”

The $100 savings bond incentive will be retroactive, meaning all West Virginians ages 16-35 who have already been vaccinated will also receive the bond.

“We’ve absolutely got to get our young people vaccinated,” Gov. Justice said.
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice announced that free COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at all West Virginia State Parks and State Forests between now and Memorial Day.

“Before Memorial Day, we are going to start with the high-traffic community parks and we will add more as needed,” Gov. Justice said.
The current list of state park and forest clinic locations to take place prior to Memorial Day includes:
  • Berkeley Springs State Park
  • Cedar Creek State Park
  • Chief Logan State Park
  • Coopers Rock State Forest
  • Greenbrier State Forest
  • Kanawha State Forest
  • Little Beaver State Park
  • Pipestem Resort State Park
  • Tu-Endie-Wei State Park
  • Tygart Lake State Park
On Memorial Day weekend, all West Virginia State Parks and Forests will offer vaccines to employees, employees’ families, and park guests.

Clinics will be set up at central park locations outdoors.

All details will be posted at
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice announced that the State of West Virginia has now successfully administered 1,270,519 vaccine doses after receiving a total allotment of 1,531,420 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 83.0%.

West Virginia COVID-19 Dashboard (Click “Vaccine Summary” tab)
Factoring in federal partnerships and other vaccination programs, more than 1.35 million vaccine doses have been administered to West Virginians to date.

Out of 1,474,615 eligible West Virginians, 777,074 (52.7%) have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 622,595 (42.2%) have been fully vaccinated.

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.

Out of the 367,011 West Virginians age 65 and older, 289,162 (78.8%) have received at least one dose of vaccine, while 254,105 (69.2%) have been fully vaccinated.

At the Governor’s direction, the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) has established fixed-location vaccination clinics in Berkeley, Kanawha, and Monongalia counties to ensure that every West Virginian age 65 and older has access to a vaccine.

All West Virginians interested in being vaccinated are urged to pre-register for an appointment by visiting or by calling 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.
Vaccinations also 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 go to for assistance in locating and securing an appointment at one of these federal pharmacy partners.
The JIATF continues to reach out to manufacturers and businesses across the state to increase vaccine access for employees and their families choosing to be vaccinated by organizing vaccination clinics at these facilities.

Additionally, church leaders are still being 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.
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 7,089, up from 7,081 as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday.

There have been 395 new positive cases over the past 24 hours.

The number of active hospitalizations in West Virginia is now 242, down from 248 on Wednesday. Of those currently hospitalized, 81 are in the ICU, down from 83 on Wednesday.

The cumulative percent of positive cases is now 5.15%, down from 5.17% on Wednesday.

Click here to view the latest COVID-19 data
The Governor also reviewed a chart tracking the number of COVID-19-related cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in West Virginia from August 2020 through the middle of April 2021.

Gov. Justice underscored the progress the state has made in trimming case counts since the start of the New Year, as vaccines have become more prevalent.
Also on Friday, 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: 5
Gold counties: 4
Yellow counties: 15
Green counties: 31
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now seven active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia, up from six such outbreaks as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday. The active outbreaks are located in Berkeley, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Jackson, and Nicholas counties and account for a total of 85 cases, up from 75 such cases on Wednesday.

There are now 17 active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state, up from 14 such outbreaks as of Wednesday.

The Governor also reported that there are now 39 inmate cases and seven staff cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice provided an overview of the 51 counties across the state that currently 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 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
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice provided a reminder that his Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement remains in effect.

All West Virginians age 9 and older must 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 requirement does not apply to anyone who has trouble breathing or is otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance, anyone who is at a restaurant and actively consuming food or drink, anyone alone in a closed or physically distanced room, or anyone actively engaged in physical activity indoors.

READ MORE: Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement

All businesses and organizations that invite the public into their facilities must post adequate signage advising guests of the face covering requirement and are responsible for enforcing the requirement to ensure it is being followed.

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.
Also on Friday, 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 or call the local American Red Cross offices at 304-340-3650.
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice signed Executive Order 13-21, providing that vaccinated staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities are no longer required to be tested twice a week, but that unvaccinated staff must continue to be tested at least twice a week. The order also provides that vaccinated staff should continue to follow the recommendations of the DHHR’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Also on Friday, Gov. Justice signed a proclamation limiting price restrictions imposed by West Virginia Code §46A-6J-1 et seq. that are in effect as a result of the state of emergency declaration issued on March 16, 2020, to only continue to limit price changes for medical supplies reasonably necessary to respond to COVID-19, specifically including personal protective equipment.
Additionally Friday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to present an official Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Kermit Ray Kirkpatrick, a career-long employee of the West Virginia Division of Highways.

“Kermit has been a wonderful employee for his entire career. He had to retire due to an illness and, unfortunately, he is really fighting that illness,” Gov. Justice said.

“Kermit, we love you. We’re going to be with you always and keep you in our prayers,” Gov. Justice continued. “We thank you for all you did for each and every one of us over all those years of service. We’re going to continue to pray for your long and healthy life, and that everything works out.”
In a moment of levity at the end of Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice was again joined by his canine companion, Babydog.

“The good Lord gave us the ability to smile and to laugh,” Gov. Justice said with a smile. “So I’m going to leave you this weekend with that ability to smile and to laugh. I’m going to leave you with a picture of my little buddy here, little Babydog.

“She’s got for you today her prediction on the Kentucky Derby,” Gov. Justice continued. “And you should pay real close attention, because she thinks she’s got it right on the money.”
CLICK TO WATCH: Babydog's Derby predictions
Wearing her best fascinator hat, Babydog revealed to all West Virginians her prediction that Essential Quality will win the 2021 Kentucky Derby, followed closely by Highly Motivated.

Through her translator, Jim Justice, Babydog added that she also likes Hot Rod Charlie as a potential long-shot derby winner.

“Babydog is putting a stake in the sand,” Gov. Justice said with a grin.

In February, Babydog famously predicted that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would win Super Bowl LV over the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only was her game pick correct, but Babydog also correctly predicted that the Buccaneers would score exactly 31 points in victory.
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
Additional media content, including video clips and/or photos from this event, will be posted on the Governor's Office website as they become available. You can find a link on the thumbnail image at the top of this press release.
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