COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice provides update on allocation of remaining CARES Act funds


Announces deadline to register for Do it for Babydog: Senior Center Edition Dec. 27
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.
During Thursday’s briefing, Gov. Justice took time to provide a detailed breakdown of the State’s allocation of remaining discretionary funds appropriated to the state by Congress through the CARES Act.

Previous allocations of CARES Act dollars resulted in a remaining balance of approximately $122.8 million. 

The remaining funds have now been allocated as follows:

Nursing program: $48 million
Announced on Tuesday, this program will improve and expand nursing education, retention, and recruitment in the state.

Back-to-Work initiative: $22 million
This money will be transferred to Workforce West Virginia to stand up a back-to-work program. More details will be announced soon.

Emergency Management Crisis Fund: $10 million
This fund will be created at DHHR and provide resources that will help all first responders across our state.

Support for food pantries/homeless shelters: $7.25 million
Support includes $5,000 being provided to each of West Virginia’s 600 food banks, plus $1 million to each of the state’s two largest food banks – Facing Hunger Food Bank and Mountaineer Food Bank – to provide resources to better serve those facing food insecurity. Another $500,000 will go to the West Virginia National Guard’s Rock Branch emergency food bank facility for the purchase of a large-scale combination cooler and freezer that will allow for proper cold storage.

Additionally, $250,000 will be provided to each of the following organizations to help citizens find shelter, food, and medical care:
  • Union Mission (Charleston)
  • Clarksburg Mission (Clarksburg)
  • Huntington City Mission (Huntington)
  • Martinsburg Union Rescue Mission (Martinsburg)
  • Bluefield Union Mission (Bluefield)
  • Union Mission of Fairmont | WV Rescue Ministries (Fairmont)
  • Faith Mission Homeless Shelter (Hurricane)
Salvation Army Potomac Division: $6 million
Funding will go to the Salvation Army Potomac Division, serving Raleigh, Wyoming, Fayette, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Webster, and Pocahontas counties to help expand their programs and provide basic necessities, food, and shelter to citizens in need.

Shepherd University research program: $500,000
This will fund a new, cutting-edge program that will aim to reduce the impact of deadly diseases such as COVID-19, and will also help with pain treatment to help fight the ongoing opioid crisis.

Remote work facilities: $3 million
This funding will go to WVU to help expand remote work facilities across West Virginia, which will be open to the public and have free WiFi available.

West Virginia State Fairgrounds: $1.5 million
Due to the pandemic, the use of this facility has been expanded to include COVID-19 response activities at their mass vaccination location in Greenbrier County. These funds will provide additional resources to support this effort.

West Virginia Game Changers: $2 million
This funding will go toward the WV Game Changer program, which has been vital during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the increase in drug use. WV Game Changers is a student-powered, substance misuse prevention movement, connecting West Virginia students and the educators who care about them through a coordinated, comprehensive prevention education program.

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources: $2.7 million
Pandemic-related costs, such as COVID-19 testing and vaccine distribution.

Do it for Babydog Vaccination Sweepstakes: $1.3 million
Additional Do it for Babydog: Save a Life, Change your Life vaccination incentive sweepstakes funds.

Administrative costs: $3.3 million
COVID-19-related administrative costs.

Additional eligible COVID-19 costs for state agencies: $15.2 million
These funds will go to state agencies to recover costs for frontline employees who have served tirelessly throughout the entirety of the pandemic.

“We’ve decided to put the money in buckets that can help West Virginia in every single way. We’ve tried to spread it out all across our state and I think we’ve achieved that,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia continues to do the right stuff with this funding. We’ve pushed the right buttons time and time again.”
Gov. Justice announced that the deadline for West Virginians ages 50 and older to register for Do it for Babydog: Senior Center Edition is Monday, Dec. 27.

Those 50 and older who have been fully vaccinated and who received their booster shot on or after Dec. 7, 2021, are eligible to receive a $50 prepaid visa gift card as an additional incentive to continue protecting themselves from COVID-19.
Additionally, four senior centers across the state with the highest overall vaccination rates will win a $100,000 grand prize and receive a visit from the Governor and Babydog.
Free COVID-19 vaccinations are available for everyone ages 5 and older.

West Virginians interested in being vaccinated or having their children vaccinated are encouraged to visit or call the West Virginia Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965.

Free booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are available for all West Virginians ages 18 and older.

A booster dose is recommended if at least six months have passed since you received your initial two-dose series of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines or if at least two months have passed since you received your initial one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

West Virginians can go to any location offering COVID-19 vaccines with their vaccination card to receive their booster.

If your card has been lost, you can request a new one from the DHHR.
“I know it’s the day before Christmas Eve. I know everybody is scurrying around, buying gifts. But there is nothing that should be more important to you than getting your booster shot or your vaccine, and I mean nothing,” Gov. Justice said.
On Thursday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 9,285 active cases of COVID-19 statewide.

The cumulative percent positivity rate stands at 6.39%.

A total of 1,096,458 West Virginians – 64.5% of the eligible population ages 5 and older – have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Booster doses have now been administered to 304,179 people – or 33.2% of West Virginians who have received both doses of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine series or their dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

COVID-19 Dashboard |
Gov. Justice also reported that, per the West Virginia Department of Education, there are currently 22 school outbreaks in 15 counties with 272 confirmed cases.

COVID-19 Outbreaks in State Public Schools (WVDE)
On Thursday, Gov. Justice renewed calls asking for West Virignians to consider donating blood and plasma through the American Red Cross.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, there remains a widespread shortage of blood and plasma across the nation.

“I encourage you to give blood – especially if you’ve had the blessing of recovering from this terrible disease and you’re doing okay, please consider it. You’ve been blessed from God above on your recovery,” Gov. Justice said. “But I ask everyone to consider giving blood. It’s really, really important.”

For more information, visit or call the local American Red Cross offices at 304-340-3650.
Prior to Thursday’s briefing, Gov. Justice joined religious leaders from across West Virginia to conduct a virtual statewide Day of Prayer and Hope service.

The service was held to provide West Virginians an opportunity to come together in prayer during the holiday season to honor the 5,251 West Virginians who have been lost to COVID-19.

“It’s been really tough on a lot of us – especially the families of those 5,251 great West Virginians that we’ve lost,” Gov. Justice said. “As we go forward, our only course is to lean on our faith to get through this.”

Leaders from many different religious backgrounds participated in the event to provide all West Virginians, no matter their religious denomination, an opportunity to pray as one people.

The following religious leaders joined the Governor for the service:
  • Dr. Dan Anderson, President, Appalachian Bible College (Mt. Hope, WV)
  • Father Tijo George, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church (Huntington, WV)
  • Rabbi Joe Blair, Temple Israel (Charleston, WV)
  • Reverend Matthew J. Watts, Pastor, Grace Bible Church (Charleston, WV)
Click here to watch service / read more

Do it for Babydog Vaccination Sweepstakes
Senior Center Edition Deadline: Dec. 27, 2021

Mountaineer Rental Assistance Program

Vaccine Information |
Vaccine Info Line: 1-833-734-0965
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