Gov. Justice: “These variants are going to keep coming. You don’t need to be another one of these people who we lose.”


Governor also discusses state record low unemployment rate, new coal plant in Mason County
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 and vaccine distribution efforts.
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 326 active cases of COVID-19 statewide.

Over the past two-and-a-half months, total active cases have decreased by 98.5%.

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Since nearing peak capacity in early February, COVID-related hospitalizations in West Virginia are down 90.9%, ICU patients are down 87.4%, and patients on ventilators are down 91.3%.

An updated breakdown of the West Virginia County Alert Map is as follows:
Red (0) | Orange (0) Gold (0) | Yellow (1) | Green (54)
Still, after reading the ages and locations of another 22 individuals who have passed away from COVID-19 since Monday, and with the BA.2 Omicron subvariant of COVID-19 recently sparking a new wave of infections across the world and the United States, Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to get vaccinated and boosted.

“While our total number of deaths is declining, it is still terribly sad to have even one person pass away,” Gov. Justice said. “If you haven’t been vaccinated, or you have but you haven’t gotten your booster, you need to revisit this.

“These variants are going to keep coming. You don’t need to be another one of these people who we lose,” Gov. Justice continued. “Get yourself vaccinated. It’s so safe.”
All West Virginians ages 5 and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. After the primary series, first booster shots are recommended for those ages 12 and older.

Second booster shots have now been authorized by the FDA and recommended by the CDC for those ages 50 and over who are also at least four months removed from their first booster dose, as well as certain younger immunocompromised individuals ages 12 and older.

All West Virginians who qualify can immediately get this dose anywhere vaccines are available.

The state’s new COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator has been updated to determine whether people are eligible for a second booster dose.

Read more about vaccines at and at
Also on Wednesday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks about COVID-19 to announce that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 3.7% for March 2022, breaking the all-time record for the lowest unemployment rate recorded in state history for the 6th consecutive month.

“West Virginia has been around for 158 years, and now we’re setting all-time records in low unemployment,” Gov. Justice said. “And it hasn’t just been once. We’ve set six all-time records in a row.”

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The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has now decreased for 23 straight months.

“It is un-flat-believable,” Gov. Justice added. “We’re breaking record after record and I am so proud. There’s never been a better time in the history of this state to get a job than right now. It’s just phenomenal.”

Many West Virginians have gotten a new job through the Governors Job Jumpstart Program, which provides a one-time, $1,500 payment to eligible West Virginians who get a new job and remain employed for at least eight weeks. On Monday, WorkForce West Virginia announced that over 12,500 West Virginians have now been approved to participate in the program.
Gov. Justice also took time to congratulate Frontieras North America after the energy technology company announced yesterday plans to build its first commercial plant in Mason County, West Virginia.

In a news release, Frontieras said that the plant is expected to employ up to 500 employees and process more than 2.7 million tons of coal annually. The company plans to complete construction of the plant and be operational by Q4 of 2023.

“We could never thank Frontieras North America enough for choosing West Virginia,” Gov. Justice said. “This is absolutely great stuff. Another 500 jobs will be pouring into Mason County, and the multiplier effects of those jobs will be off the charts.

“It’s a testament to all the great work that we’ve done, through the Legislature and all of us, in making West Virginia more business-friendly,” Gov. Justice continued. “We want people to come to West Virginia. We want them to know that we’re the diamond in the rough that they missed.

“I told you that I’d take you on a rocket ship ride. Now you’re riding, and you’d best buckle up even tighter, because it’s going to only get better and better.”

In its announcement, the company touted Mason County’s “easy access to raw materials, a skilled workforce, as well as roads” as reasons for selecting West Virginia over other states like Texas and Wyoming after an exhaustive research process. The release also referred to Mason County as “ the epicenter for the nation’s answer to the energy crisis.”

“We want West Virginia to be the energy powerhouse for the world,” Gov. Justice said. “West Virginia can be the spark that makes this nation energy independent again. We continue to see the God-awful stuff that’s going on in Ukraine, and here we sit on our hands, canceling pipelines and everything else.

“I want this nation to be super-strong, and I want West Virginia to lead the way,” Gov. Justice continued. “That’s exactly what we’re doing.”
Finally, Gov. Justice took time to wish all West Virginians who celebrate a happy Easter weekend.

“Easter is such a sacred holiday for so many of us,” Gov. Justice said. “As you celebrate this meaningful holiday, I ask you to pause and give thanks for all of the blessings that we have living in West Virginia.

“Babydog and I hope you enjoy the holiday with your loved ones.”

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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