COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice urges West Virginians age 65 and older to get vaccinated amid recent increase in infections, deaths


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 Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice called upon all West Virginians age 65 and older who have not yet been vaccinated to schedule an appointment to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
The Governor’s urging comes amid a recent “uptick” in the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths being seen in West Virginia and across the nation.

“There’s been a little uptick in this thing, but we don’t want it to turn into a big uptick,” Gov. Justice said. “We have got to be careful. This thing is not over. We’ve lost 26 more great West Virginians just since Monday.”
The Governor went on to say that, while 75% of West Virginians age 65 and older have been vaccinated so far, he wants to see that number improve even further; to as close to 100% as possible.

“We’ve still got about 90,000 of you folks out there – age 65 and older – that have not taken your shot yet,” Gov. Justice said. “Really and truly we have got to get you vaccinated.

“If you are 65 years of age or older and you have chosen to not get your vaccine, you are making a terrible mistake,” Gov. Justice continued. “If you’re age 65 or older and you get this, as we’ve seen, you’re in tough shape. However, if you get your vaccine, the likelihood of you getting this is diminished unbelievably, and even if you were to get it, which is highly unlikely, your odds of being hospitalized go down phenomenally, and the possibility of death is almost zero.

“You have got to get your shot. Please listen to me.”

Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia has now successfully administered 892,596 doses after receiving a total allotment of 930,090 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 96.0%.

West Virginia currently boasts a first dose administration rate of 101.2%, which exceeds 100% due to extra doses being extracted from vials of the vaccine, and a second dose administration rate of 89.1%.
  • First doses: 532,890 administered / 526,570 allotted
  • Second doses: 359,706 administered / 403,520 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, 242,204 West Virginians age 65 and older have chosen to be vaccinated – over 75% of West Virginia’s population in this age range – including 195,645 who are now fully vaccinated.

At the Governor’s direction, the Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) has established three 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.

Any West Virginians age 65 and older are urged to pre-register for an appointment by visiting or 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 Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 6,897, down from 6,955 as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Monday.

The number of active hospitalizations is now 271, up from 259 on Monday. Of those currently hospitalized, 84 patients are in the ICU, up from 80 such patients on Monday.

The cumulative percent of positive cases is now 5.24%, down from 5.25% on Monday.

Click here to view the latest COVID-19 data

Also on Wednesday, 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: 9
Gold counties: 7
Yellow counties: 4
Green counties: 34

Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now eight active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia, up from seven such outbreaks as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Monday. The active outbreaks are located in Fayette, Grant, Harrison, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Raleigh counties and account for a total of a total of 92 cases, up from 88 such cases on Monday.

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

The Governor also reported that there are now 73 inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, up from 52 such cases on Monday. The inmate cases include 24 at Southern Regional Jail, 23 at Salem Correctional Center, and 23 at South Central Regional Jail. Meanwhile, there are now 11 active staff cases across the DCR system, up slightly from 10 such cases on Monday. Gov. Justice announced last week that the state is beginning the process of offering vaccinations to all inmates within the DCR system, age 65 and older, who are interested in receiving the vaccine. To learn more about DCR facility vaccination efforts, or to view the latest DCR case update, click here.

Also on Wednesday, 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

Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time to provide a reminder that all businesses in West Virginia must continue to follow all applicable COVID-19 safety guidelines.

Click here to view all active guidance documents

Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice provided a reminder that his Statewide Indoor Face Covering Requirement remains in effect.

All West Virginians age 9 and older to 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 order requires that all businesses and organizations that invite the public into their facilities must post adequate signage advising guests of the requirement and are also responsible for enforcing the requirement to ensure it is being followed.

Click here to read more details about the face covering requirement

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.

Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice 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.

Also, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks regarding COVID-19 to offer a reminder of his announcement earlier Wednesday that the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) will stock tiger trout in lakes and streams around the state for the first time in decades.

Through the months of April and May, the WVDNR will stock 25,000 tiger trout, some of which are trophy size at four pounds. They will be stocked with other trout species at a rate of 10% in scheduled stockings around the state.

“This is just the latest example of the unique, world-class fishing opportunities we’re providing in West Virginia for anglers from our great state and all over the country. I could not be more proud,” Gov. Justice said. “I encourage all West Virginians to take advantage of this great opportunity to make lifelong memories with your family and friends; fishing for these incredible tiger trout on our pristine West Virginia waters.”
Tiger trout are a cross between brook and brown trout and are known for unique markings that look like tiger stripes. Brook and brown trout are from different genera, which makes tiger trout a rare occurrence in nature. Stocked tiger trout have been raised at WVDNR’s hatcheries.

In addition to the special tiger trout stockings, a 15% lodging discount will also be available at West Virginia State Parks receiving stockings through April. The promo code “SPOTTED” can be entered at checkout at Some exclusions apply. Details can be found at

Click here for more 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

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

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