COVID-19 UPDATE: Gov. Justice: “We don’t want this thing to keep sliding and getting worse”


Governor also offers prayers for fallen Nicholas County Deputy Tom Baker
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.
During his briefing Monday, Gov. Justice reported that there are now 2,547 active cases of COVID-19 statewide, 430 more cases than there were during the Governor’s previous briefing on Thursday last week.

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“We don’t want this thing to keep sliding and getting worse,” Gov. Justice said. “Please make sure that you’re up to date on your booster shots. Especially if you’re 50 or older, it is so, so important.”
An updated breakdown of the West Virginia County Alert Map is as follows:
Red (0) | Orange (0) Gold (0) | Yellow (30) | Green (25)
After reading the ages and locations of another six individuals who have passed away from COVID-19 since Thursday last week, Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations and boosters.

Primary series vaccinations and a first booster dose are now encouraged for all West Virginians ages 5 and older.

A second booster dose is encouraged for all West Virginians ages 50 and older who are at least four months removed from their first booster dose, as well as certain immunocompromised individuals. All West Virginians who qualify can get a second booster dose everywhere vaccines are available.

“If you’re out of that time period, you’re out of any immunity to speak of at all,” Gov. Justice said. “You’re basically just winging it.

“We all know just how infectious this stuff is,” he continued. “If we’re not careful, it could whiplash back around on us.”

The state’s free COVID-19 Vaccination Due Date Calculator – the only tool of its kind in the nation – has been updated to determine whether people are eligible for a second booster dose.
Also on Monday, Gov. Justice asked all West Virginians to join him in praying for Nicholas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Tom Baker, who was shot and killed when responding to an incident Friday night.

“This is a tragedy beyond comprehension,” Gov. Justice said. “I ask everyone to please keep this incredible man and his family in your prayers.”

The Governor also asked for prayers for all of West Virginia’s first responder community.

“We had another deputy in the same situation that was shot in the leg. Thank God, he survived. But all of our first responders are absolute heroes beyond belief,” Gov. Justice continued. “These are the people that we call when we’re in trouble and they run to the fire to protect us. We owe everything we have to these brave men and women.”
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice announced that he has officially submitted a request to the President and FEMA for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for Cabell and Wayne counties due to the flooding that took place in West Virginia on May 6, 2022.

Gov. Justice’s request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration includes Individual Assistance with the possibility of receiving Hazard Mitigation Assistance and Small Business Administration Disaster Loans. The May 6 flooding event did not meet FEMA’s threshold to request Public Assistance.

While Gov. Justice previously declared a State of Emergency for Cabell, Putnam, and Roane counties related to the May 6 flooding, only Cabell and Wayne counties reached the magnitude of damages to be part of West Virginia’s request for assistance. However, if the request is granted, all 55 West Virginia counties will be eligible to submit applications for hazard mitigation funding.

“I’m very hopeful that our request will be approved and, if it’s approved, I’m hopeful that it will substantially help all the folks that we have hurting,” Gov. Justice said. “So let’s be hopeful that the Biden administration will approve this.”

The West Virginia Emergency Management Division (WVEMD) used innovative technology to rapidly collect data for this event. The most significant contribution to this was an online damage assessment tool, which allowed WVEMD to collect and validate damages more efficiently and meet the 30-day window to submit the request for a declaration.

In another move toward modernization, Cabell County Emergency Management used drone footage to assist during the active disaster and the damage assessment process. Using drone footage allowed WVEMD to display the extent and magnitude of the damages to federal partners as part of joint preliminary damage assessments.

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Gov. Justice also announced that, earlier Monday, he awarded a combined $7.5 million in grant funding for a pair of programs that are going to help many West Virginians in various ways.

Gov. Justice awards over $5.4 million in West Virginia Community Corrections Grant awards

Gov. Justice awarded $5,417,061 in West Virginia Community Corrections Grant Program funds to 30 projects. These funds will be used to assist local communities in the establishment and continued operation of community corrections programs.

This will help provide the judicial system with sentencing alternatives for those offenders who may require less than institutional custody.

Gov. Justice awards over $2.1 million in Child Advocacy Center Grant awards

The Governor also awarded $2,118,685 in Child Advocacy Center Grant program funds to 22 projects. These funds are awarded to local nonprofit Child Advocacy Centers throughout the state to address the growing problem of child abuse and neglect.

These awards are focused on a multidisciplinary response to investigation, treatment, and prosecution of child abuse cases by providing such services as advocacy, education, forensic interviews, evaluations, and referrals.
Additionally Monday, Gov. Justice announced that a consulting contract has been awarded to McChrystal Group LLC, of Alexandria, VA, to conduct a top-to-bottom organizational assessment of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).

The review process will include the development of a strategic plan for the organization and financial structure of DHHR.

The McChrystal Group provided a cost estimate of $503,648 for the organizational assessment of DHHR and $578,770 to develop a strategic plan.

“There’s been a lot of discussion about the DHHR over the past several weeks. The Legislature passed a bill that would have split DHHR in two, but I said that we needed to take a deeper look before we act too fast and hurt a bunch of people,” Gov. Justice said. “The organizational problems within the DHHR didn’t start on my watch, but we can make them better. So we’re bringing in a consulting company to do a top-to-bottom review, and we will stay in constant contact with the Legislature to come up with the best possible solution.”

The assessment is scheduled to begin on June 10, 2022, and will last 120 days, meaning the assessment is planned to conclude by Oct. 8, 2022.

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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