COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice urges younger West Virginians to get vaccinated


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 Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice called upon younger West Virginians, urging them to sign up to be vaccinated as soon as possible, with COVID-19 numbers slowly creeping back up across certain areas of the state.

“We’ve got more people in the ICU, we’ve got more people in our hospitals, we’ve got more active cases,” Gov. Justice said. “This thing is not going away without a last push on its side. But we can make it go away by getting vaccinated. So please, everyone, especially younger folks, listen to me when I tell you; you’ve got to get vaccinated.

“Our medical experts are confirming that the COVID variants that are out there now are really starting to attack our younger folks, so we need to watch,” Gov. Justice continued. “We’ve lost eight individuals since last week and, of those eight individuals, one was 42, one was 45, and one was 50.”

The Governor pointed out that, despite West Virginia’s nationally renowned success at providing vaccinations for those desiring them compared to other states, less than one-half of West Virginia’s overall population has received at least one dose of the vaccine to date.

“We’ve got to move that up,” Gov. Justice said. “Younger folks, please listen to me. We need you to get your shot. It could very well save your life.”

Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reported that West Virginia has now successfully administered 881,592 doses after receiving a total allotment of 930,090 doses from the federal government to date; an overall administration rate of 94.8%.

West Virginia currently boasts a first dose administration rate of 100.3%, which exceeds 100% due to extra doses being extracted from vials of the vaccine, and a second dose administration rate of 87.6%.
  • First doses: 528,119 administered / 526,570 allotted
  • Second doses: 353,473 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, 241,326 West Virginians age 65 and older have chosen to be vaccinated – over 72% of West Virginia’s population in this age range – including 193,497 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.
The Governor also offered a reminder that Walmart and additional independent pharmacies are beginning to receive doses of COVID-19 vaccines, joining Walgreens and the Med Shoppe/Leader network of pharmacies 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 Monday, Gov. Justice reported that the current number of active cases in the state is now 6,955, up from 6,642 as of his previous COVID-19 briefing on Friday last week.

The number of active hospitalizations is now 259, up from 244 on Friday last week. Of those currently hospitalized, 80 patients are in the ICU, down from 81 such patients on Friday last week.

The cumulative percent of positive cases remains 5.25%.

Click here to view the latest COVID-19 data

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: 2
Orange counties: 9
Gold counties: 3
Yellow counties: 9
Green counties: 32

Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there remain seven active church-related outbreaks in West Virginia. The active outbreaks are located in Fayette, Grant, Harrison, Kanawha, Nicholas, and Raleigh counties and account for a total of a total of 88 cases, down from 93 such cases as of the Governor’s previous COVID-19 briefing on Friday last week.

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

The Governor also reported that there are now 52 inmate cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation (DCR) system, up from nine such cases on Friday last week. The inmate cases include 21 at Salem Correctional Center, 16 at South Central Regional Jail, and 13 at Southern Regional Jail, among others. Meanwhile, there are now 10 active staff cases across the DCR system, down from 13 such cases on Friday last week. 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 Monday, 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 Monday, 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 Monday, 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 Monday, 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.

Also during his briefing, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to offer a reminder that, later in the day on Monday, he will be hosting a summit with several West Virginia legislators – including leaders of the majority and minority parties in both the West Virginia Senate and the West Virginia House of Delegates, as well as the chairs of the senate and house finance committees – to discuss how to best approach the repeal of the personal income tax.

Click here for more information on Gov. Justice’s plan to repeal the personal income tax

“This is the biggest opportunity West Virginia has ever had in its history,” Gov. Justice said. “It is our responsibility, on something this big, to make sure that all of us have complete understanding. When they really get it all, I’ve yet to talk to one person that isn’t saying, ‘We’ve got to do this. This is the greatest thing in the world.’

“This is the most important thing that this state has ever had put on its plate, and we’re running out of time,” Gov. Justice continued. “We don’t need to run out of time without really trying.”

The Governor’s summit will be held at the State Culture Center and is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m.

Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice took time to commemorate the 11-year anniversary of the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster.

On April 5, 2010, an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Montcoal, West Virginia, resulted in the deaths of 29 miners.

“It’s hard to believe that it was 11 years ago. It seems like it just happened,” Gov. Justice said. “It was a crying shame.

“Cathy and I have said lots and lots of prayers for all of those that were involved; the 29 miners that we lost, their families, and their entire communities,” Gov. Justice continued. “The hurt will never go away completely, but we absolutely know the contribution that these great miners, and all of our miners, bring to us all the time.”

Also on Monday, Gov. Justice announced the passing of West Virginia Human Rights Commission Executive Director Ronald Lee Jones Jr.

Jones’ death was not COVID-19-related.

“This was a gentleman who gave so, so much,” Gov. Justice said. “In addition to his role with the Human Rights Commission, he was a football coach at Chapmanville Middle School and coached at Chapmanville High School. He was well-known for all the incredible things that he did in his community, so this is an incredible loss for that community and the state.”

In addition to his father, siblings, and other extended family, Jones is survived by his teenage son. 

“I hope and pray that all of you will remember him, and all who loved him, today and in the days to come,” Gov. Justice added.

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

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