COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice urges all West Virginians to “run to the fire” to get booster; extra dose now approved for everyone 18 and older

11/24/2021

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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.
GOV. JUSTICE URGES ALL RESIDENTS TO GET BOOSTER SHOT
During Wednesday’s briefing, Gov. Justice encouraged all previously vaccinated West Virginians to move quickly to get their booster shot.

Last week, the FDA and the CDC both officially approved booster doses for all Americans ages 18 and older.

“You really need to run to the fire and get your booster,” Gov. Justice said. “We know that if you’re six months out from your Pfizer or Moderna shot – or two months for J&J – your immunity may be very, very low.”
“It’s getting colder, your immunity is low, and we know the Delta variant is multiple times more infectious,” Gov. Justice continued. “You cannot afford to hesitate. Go run to your health department or pharmacy and get your booster shot.”
West Virginians can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with your vaccination card to receive the booster. If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR “DO IT FOR BABYDOG: ROUND 3”
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice reminded all West Virginians that online registration remains open for the third round of the ​​“Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” vaccination sweepstakes.
REGISTER: DOITFORBABYDOG.WV.GOV
Do it for Babydog: Round 3 is focused on educating children and their parents on the safety of the COVID-19 vaccine and the importance of getting West Virginia’s youngest residents vaccinated.

All West Virginians ages 5-18 who have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible to enter the sweepstakes. Children ages 5-17 must have parental consent to be vaccinated.

*Those who previously registered for Round 1 and/or Round 2 of the sweepstakes are required to register again to be eligible for Round 3*

Weekly prizes for Round 3 of the sweepstakes include:
  • 1 Grand Prize check for a school and a party with Babydog
  • 1 Grand Prize Educational Savings Fund for a student ($50,000-$100,000)
  • 25 Prizes of a $10,000 Educational Savings Fund
  • 100 Lifetime Hunting and Fishing Licenses
Registration for the next prize drawing will remain open until Sunday, Nov. 28, at 11:59 p.m. EST. Winners will be announced the week of Nov. 29.

Additional giveaways will also be held during the week of Dec. 6 and the week of Dec. 13.

Free COVID-19 vaccinations are available and approved for everyone ages 5 and older. West Virginians interested in being vaccinated or having their children vaccinated are encouraged to visit Vaccinate.wv.gov or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965.
FIND A VACCINE NEAR YOU
CASE NUMBERS & HOSPITALIZATIONS UPDATE
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 6,754 active cases of COVID-19 statewide; down by 521 cases since the Governor’s previous briefing on Friday last week.

The active case count is down overall by 22,990 cases since peaking in mid-September, a drop of 77.3% in that time.

COVID-19 Dashboard | Coronavirus.wv.gov

The number of hospitalizations is now 512; down by 6 over the past week. Since peaking at 1,012, hospitalizations have dropped by 500 (49.4%).

The number of patients in ICUs is now 183; up by 12 over the past week. Despite the small increase, since peaking at 296, the number of patients in ICUs has dropped overall by 113 (38.2%).

The number of patients on ventilators is now 104; up by 13 over the past week. Despite the small increase, since peaking at 195, the number of patients on ventilators has dropped overall by 91 (46.7%).

The County Alert System map now features 4 green counties, 7 yellow counties, 3 gold counties, 25 orange counties, and 16 red counties.
Gov. Justice also reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 24 school outbreaks in 17 counties with 404 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 Outbreaks in State Public Schools (WVDE)
COVID-19 RESOURCES
GOV. JUSTICE PRESENTS TWO FOOD BANKS WITH $500,000 EACH
Additionally Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks about COVID-19 to present checks for $500,000 each to two West Virginia food banks: the Mountaineer Food Bank and the Facing Hunger Foodbank.

This marks the second year in a row that the Governor has been able to award this funding to these food banks.

“Our food banks in West Virginia are so important, especially when it gets cold,” Gov. Justice said. “We absolutely do not want anybody in West Virginia going hungry, and our Legislature has helped me step up and be able to give these funds. We put a stake in the sand and said we’re going to take care of our people, no matter what it costs. So I’m tickled to death to be able to present these funds.”
The Governor was joined for the briefing by Cyndi Kirkhart, Executive Director of the Facing Hunger Food Bank; and Brianna George, Chief Development Officer for Mountaineer Food Bank.

“Governor Justice, on behalf of the 130,000 West Virginians that the Facing Hunger Food Bank serves...thank you so much,” Kirkhart said. “It is indeed going to be a happy Thanksgiving for our team, as well as all those that we serve.”
“This funding will help provide food to support our programs and allow us to continue to provide food for those in need, especially during the holidays,” George said. “So thank you again, Governor, for your continued support and helping meet the needs of those with food insecurity throughout our state.”
GOV. JUSTICE APPOINTS KATHIE HESS CROUSE TO HOUSE OF DELEGATES
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time to announce that he has appointed Kathie Hess Crouse, of Buffalo, to the West Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 13th District. The district covers parts of Putnam, Jackson, and Mason counties.

Click here to read more
GOVERNOR PREVIEWS WEST VIRGINIA COMMUNITIES IN SCHOOLS DOCUMENTARY
Gov. Justice also took time to announce that West Virginia Public Broadcasting will air a documentary this Friday about the Communities in Schools program in West Virginia.

The half-hour documentary – titled “Communities in Schools: Extending a Helping Hand” – will tell the stories of young West Virginians that have been helped by the program. 

The film crew followed First Lady Cathy Justice around the state as she visited schools in the program.

The documentary will premiere this Friday, Nov. 26, at 6:30 p.m. and re-air at 8:30 p.m. on the West Virginia Public Broadcasting TV Channel. Click here to find your station.

The program will also be available to watch on the WVPB website.
GOVERNOR WISHES WEST VIRGINIANS A SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING
Gov. Justice took time during his remarks to wish all West Virginians a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day holiday tomorrow.

“I hope you have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving,” Gov. Justice said. “We have so much to be thankful for. I ask you in every way to enjoy your time with family, and I also ask you, if you happen to run into a Veteran or an active member of our military, please express your gratitude and thanks to them.”
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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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