COVID-19 UPDATE: West Virginians who want to participate in Booster Battlefield Assessment encouraged to call COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line


UPDATE 8/3/21: Gov. Justice has extended the "Do it for Babydog" Vaccination Sweepstakes registration deadline to Sunday, Aug. 8, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Headline updated to prevent confusion.
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.
*UPDATE 8/3/21* Gov. Justice has extended the "Do it for Babydog" Vaccination Sweepstakes registration deadline to Sunday, Aug. 8.

During Monday’s briefing, Gov. Justice offered a reminder that Monday marks the final day that vaccinated West Virginians are able to register for the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” Vaccination Sweepstakes.

“Get yourself vaccinated and get yourself registered,” Gov. Justice said. “Who knows; Babydog and I may show up and announce that you’ve won something great.”
The final round of prize giveaways for vaccinated West Virginians ages 18 and older include:
  • One grand prize of $1.588 million
  • One second place prize of $588,000
  • Two brand-new custom-outfitted trucks
  • Five lifetime hunting licenses
  • Five lifetime fishing licenses
  • Five custom hunting rifles
  • Five custom hunting shotguns
  • 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia State Parks
Additionally, two vaccinated West Virginians ages 12-25 will win a full four-year scholarship to any public institution in the state.

Registration will remain open until 11:59 p.m. EDT tonight: Monday, August 2.

The final round of prize winners will be announced Thursday, August 5.
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reminded West Virginians that the State has launched its Booster Battlefield Assessment.

The voluntary program is an opportunity for West Virginia’s long-term care facility residents and other West Virginians ages 60 and above who were vaccinated more than six months ago to volunteer to have their blood drawn and have their antibody levels measured.

“This is the first statewide program in the country to test and measure antibody levels,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia continues to lead the way.”

Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) Director Jim Hoyer said Monday that any West Virginians who are interested in participating in the Booster Battlefield Assessment should call the West Virginia COVID-19 Vaccine Info Line at 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.

Gov. Justice added that WVU and Marshall University will lead the study, with assistance from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, and working closely with the West Virginia Health Care Association.

“We are also in the process of connecting with the FDA, CDC, and the vaccine manufacturers to make sure we are providing this real-world data in a way that assists in determining if a third dose of vaccine is best for our citizens over 60 who have had their first vaccine over six months ago,” Gov. Justice said.
With the latest wave of COVID-19 cases continuing to accelerate, the Governor and State medical experts continued to plead with West Virginians to get vaccinated Monday.

“We’re just weeks away from WVU and Marshall football games, fairs and festivals, the State Fair of West Virginia – people are going to be piled up on top of people and this Delta variant is here,” Gov. Justice said. “How are you going to feel if you’re walking through those crowds without being vaccinated?”

The total number of active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia has now reached 2,480; up 570 cases since the Governor’s previous briefing on Thursday last week and nearly three times higher than the number of active cases just over three weeks ago.

The number of hospitalizations (152) and ICU patients (67) are also both up from Thursday last week.

Meanwhile, the County Alert System map shows that 37 of the state’s 55 counties are now above the Green category, with five counties in the Orange category and two counties (Marshall and Wetzel) in the Red category.
The Governor went on to announce that West Virginians have begun to respond to the increased threat from the Delta variant, with over 7,500 doses of the vaccine being administered over the weekend.

“That’s great news,” Gov. Justice said. “That’s way, way up from where we were before.”

For comparison, the previous weekend saw only 4,070 vaccine doses administered statewide.

“I congratulate those that are hustling to get their vaccine,” Gov. Justice continued. “It’s good stuff.”

The Governor went on to note that West Virginia continues to inch closer to its updated goal of vaccinating at least 90% of residents ages 65+ and at least 85% of residents ages 50+ with at least one dose.

To date, 89.5% of residents ages 65+ and 82.5% of residents ages 50+ have received at least one dose.
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia’s General Revenue collections for July 2021 came in at $28.1 million above estimates.

“We’ve produced purplus after surplus in really trying and difficult times,” Gov. Justice said. “We always need to watch the store and mind the economics of what is going on in our state, and we’ve done just that.”

The Governor noted that severance tax came in at $11.0 million above estimate, an increase of 95.8% above the previous year.

“The net of the whole thing is that it was a great month,” Gov. Justice said. “This was our first month of Fiscal Year 2022. We’re off to a great start and we’re just going to keep on rolling.”

Click here to read monthly revenue and cash flow reports from the West Virginia State Budget Office
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there are currently 10 active outbreaks associated with churches throughout West Virginia. These churches are located in Braxton, Cabell, Fayette, Jackson, Jefferson, Marion, McDowell, Nicholas, and Putnam counties.

Additionally, there are currently five active outbreaks in long-term care facilities across the state.

Meanwhile, there are currently two active inmate cases and two active staff cases across the West Virginia Division of Corrections and Rehabilitation system. To view the latest DCR case update, click here.
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