West Virginia Week in Review - August 28, 2021

8/28/2021

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U.S. Secretary of Education applauds Gov. Justice, West Virginia for providing school vaccination clinics in all 55 counties
On Friday, Gov. Justice welcomed United States Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona onto his virtual COVID-19 briefing, as he and West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Clayton Burch announced that back-to-school vaccination clinics will be held this fall in all 55 counties.

During the briefing, Sec. Cardona praised Gov. Justice, Superintendent Burch, and West Virginia education leaders for answering the call to get more children vaccinated by providing these school clinics.

Superintendent Burch also announced that the West Virginia Department of Education’s #IGotVaxxedWV campaign, which was launched this summer to encourage students to get vaccinated, has been rebranded as: #IGotVaxxed To Get Back.
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"Do it for Babydog: Round 2" registration open
Gov. Justice offered a reminder that online registration is now open for the second round of the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” vaccination sweepstakes. All West Virginians who have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can register at DoitforBabydog.wv.gov for an opportunity to join the list of winners. Those who previously registered for the original vaccination sweepstakes are required to register again to be eligible for Round 2.

Registration for the first prize drawing of “Do it for Babydog: Round 2” will remain open until tomorrow, Sunday, Aug. 29, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. Winners will be announced Thursday, Sept. 2.
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Hospitalizations continue to surge, mostly among the unvaccinated
On Friday, Gov. Justice reported another large jump in COVID-19-related hospitalizations across the state, with 579 West Virginians now hospitalized. Of the patients currently hospitalized, 181 are in the ICU and 82 are on ventilators. Both of these numbers continue to rapidly approach the all-time records in West Virginia.

At WVU Medicine’s hospitals in the northern part of the state, 85% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

At Mon Health Medical Center in Morgantown, 92% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

At CAMC’s hospitals in the greater Charleston area, almost 80% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. In ICUs, that number rises to 93%.

At Thomas Health’s hospitals, over 90% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. In ICUs, that number rises to 100%.
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Gov. Justice: FDA grants full approval for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
On Monday, the U.S. FDA officially gave its full stamp of approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the prevention of COVID-19 disease in individuals 16 years of age and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.
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Gov. Justice continues push to expedite federal approval of extra vaccine dose for highest-risk West Virginians
This week, Gov. Justice directed State pandemic response officials to continue their push to expedite approval from the federal government to allow West Virginia to begin administering an extra dose of the COVID-19 vaccines to the state’s most vulnerable citizens, including residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, who were among the first people in the nation to be vaccinated.

The Governor has directed members of the West Virginia COVID-19 pandemic response leadership team to contact the White House in efforts to secure approval to begin administering these additional doses.
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Gov. Justice orders all U.S. and State flags to be flown at half-staff through Monday, August 30
In accordance with President Joe Biden’s proclamation, Gov. Justice issued a proclamation ordering that all United States and West Virginia flags on all State-owned facilities throughout all of West Virginia be displayed at half-staff until sunset on Monday, August 30, to honor and pay our respects to the U.S. service members and other victims killed in the terrorist attack on August 26, 2021, in Kabul, Afghanistan.
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Gov. Justice announces over $15.5 million in ARC and CDBG-CV grant awards for projects across West Virginia
Gov. Justice held a ceremony Friday to announce over $15.5 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant recommendations and federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for a combined total of 23 projects across West Virginia. He announced 10 such ARC projects, totaling $8,180,072.00, and 13 such CDBG-CV projects, totaling $7,370,874.76.
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West Virginia hosts “Vigilant Guard” civilian-military disaster response exercise for first time
Gov. Justice announced Tuesday that the West Virginia National Guard and West Virginia Emergency Management Division are hosting Vigilant Guard 2021; a national-level exercise cosponsored by the U.S. Northern Command and the National Guard Bureau, Aug. 26-29, 2021.

Vigilant Guard is held in a different FEMA Region each year. This is the first time West Virginia has been selected to host the exercise for FEMA Region III, which is comprised of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
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Oakwood Intersection Improvement R-Cut to reduce wait times
As the Oakwood Intersection Improvement project nears completion, West Virginia Division of Highways is reaching out to let drivers know to be aware of a new traffic pattern. When the project opens next week, it will be the first R-Cut in West Virginia.
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Gov. Justice, WVDOH announce projects including Berkeley County roundabout
This week, Gov. Justice and the West Virginia Division of Highways announced a list of projects awarded, several paid for with Roads to Prosperity funding.

First Fruits Excavating was awarded a $1,727,360.75 contract to build a roundabout at the intersection of Rock Cliff Drive and Tavern Road in Martinsburg. The project is expected to be complete in the fall of 2022.

SMH Construction Company Inc. was awarded a $800,381.53 contract to replace a bridge on Skyles Creek in Webster County. Built in 1950, the bridge on WV 82 carries more than 500 cars a day, and provides access from much of western Webster County to US 19.

Also, Highway Safety, Inc. was awarded a $362,020 project to replace pavement railroad markers at 138 different railroad crossings in DOH Highway Districts 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 10.
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Virtual ceremony honors West Virginia Civil Rights Day
The West Virginia Human Rights Commission hosted a virtual ceremony for West Virginia Civil Rights Day on Thursday. Featured speakers included Gov. Justice, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Cabinet Secretary Bill J. Crouch, and HRC Executive Director Tia L. Welch. The keynote address was given by Dr. R. Charles Byers, Provost Emeritus and Vice President Emeritus for Academic Affairs of West Virginia State University.
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West Virginia State Parks announces return of guided elk viewing tours at Tomblin WMA
Wildlife enthusiasts and outdoor lovers who want a chance to see the Mountain State's growing elk herd up close and in a natural setting can now book a seat on a guided elk viewing tour organized by West Virginia State Parks. On Thursday, the state parks system announced the return of the popular event and an exclusive 10 percent discount on lodge rooms and cabins at Chief Logan Lodge for people who book a tour. Elk viewing tours, which are scheduled this September and October, will start and end at Chief Logan Lodge.
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WVDNR encouraging private landowners to apply for Wild Yard certification

In an effort to create more natural habitat for wildlife around the state, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is encouraging landowners to join its Wild Yards program. The program, which has 300 members around the state, recognizes the efforts of landowners who landscape for wildlife use.

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Also this week:

Gov. Justice offers condolences after passing of West Virginia State Police trooper

Shreves Selected Director of DHHR’s Office of Emergency Medical Services

Pilot Program for Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Awarded to WV

Clarksburg DMV Regional Office is appointment-only through next Wednesday

West Virginia State Parks and Recreation Endowment Fund to host virtual meeting Sept. 2
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Contact Information

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

Contact

Office of the Governor
State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E
Charleston, WV 25305

Office Phone:
304.558.2000 or 1.888.438.2731

Governor's Mansion:
304.558.3588

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