West Virginia Week in Review - April 17, 2021


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Gov. Justice continues to urge all eligible West Virginians to get vaccinated, touts “astounding” success of vaccines
This week, Gov. Jim Justice once again urged all West Virginians who are age 16 and older to get vaccinated as soon as possible to help curb the spread of COVID-19, especially in light of the recent increase in variant strains being seen across the state.
On Friday, State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh explained that, according to the latest CDC data, of the 77 million Americans who have opted to be vaccinated to date, only 5,800 so-called “breakthrough cases” – where an individual contracts COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated – have been identified. Of those 5,800 cases, 396 people required hospitalization. Only 74 individuals have died out of the 77 million who have received the vaccine; a fatality rate of 0.0001% compared to an overall case fatality rate of about 1.8% for all COVID-19 cases nationwide, according to Dr. Marsh.

All West Virginians age 65 and older are urged to pre-register for an appointment by visiting vaccinate.wv.gov 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.
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Gov. Justice: In accordance with CDC and FDA, all Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration paused in West Virginia
On Tuesday, Gov. Justice announced that out of an abundance of caution and upon the recommendation released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, all use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in West Virginia will be paused immediately until further notice.

Clinics that are scheduled to use the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will substitute with another COVID-19 vaccine manufacturer as supplies allow.
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First case of Brazilian COVID-19 variant detected in West Virginia
On Friday, Gov. Justice and state health officials announced that West Virginia has detected its first case of the Brazilian variant of COVID-19 in Berkeley County. DHHR officials reported that, to date, 497 cases of this variant have been identified across 31 states throughout the country.
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Gov. Justice, Brad & Alys Smith, and West Virginia University launch Ascend WV remote worker program
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced the launch of the nation’s premier remote work program, aimed at recruiting outdoor enthusiast professionals to the Mountain State. The program, called Ascend WV, supported by West Virginia native Brad D. Smith and his wife, Alys, will allow adventurers to enjoy world-class recreation, uncrowded spaces, and a low cost of living while staying fully connected to their jobs, and it comes with the country’s best remote worker incentive package: $12,000 and a year’s worth of free outdoor recreation.
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Gov. Justice announces expansion of West Virginia N3, Part of Accenture, bringing 100 new jobs to Charleston
Gov. Justice announced Wednesday that N3, part of Accenture, is adding 100 jobs to its Charleston location. N3, acquired by Accenture in October 2020, works with global technology companies to deliver global sales strategy and execution programs. Those interested in open positions at N3 can explore jobs and apply online here.
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West Virginia unemployment rate decreases for 11th straight month
On Wednesday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has decreased once again, dropping to 5.9% for the month of March; the first time the unemployment rate has fallen below 6% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate has declined for 11 consecutive months and is now better than the national unemployment rate.
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WVDOH awards contract for Bluefield’s Grant Street Bridge
The West Virginia Division of Highways awarded the contract to build Grant Street Bridge in Bluefield on Monday. Brayman Construction Corporation was low bidder on the project, with a bid of $8,097,117.21. The project has an estimated completion date of April 2022.
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WVDE announces initiatives to support military families
In recognition of April as Month of the Military Child, the West Virginia Board of Education and the West Virginia Department of Education have re-affirmed their support of the Common Ground program. This partnership of military and community-based organizations focuses on the success of pre-k – 12 students and promotes assistance for military-connected families in schools. As a part of the Board’s April meeting this week in Charleston, a resolution was issued to support all representatives of the partnership.
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Also this week:

WV Department of Education updates status on special circumstance review counties

In accordance with President Biden’s proclamation, Gov. Justice orders all U.S. and State flags to be flown at half-staff through Tuesday, April 20

Gov. Justice: FEMA providing COVID-19 funeral assistance

State health leaders urge West Virginians to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect

West Virginia students to compete in 2021 International Science and Engineering Fair

Contact Information

Jordan Damron, jordan.l.damron@wv.gov


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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