West Virginia Week in Review - July 31, 2021


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Gov. Justice launches Booster Battlefield Assessment: first statewide program in U.S. to measure antibody levels among vaccinated
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that the State of West Virginia is launching the first statewide program in the country to test and measure antibody levels among vaccinated individuals. This new “Booster Battlefield Assessment” program is among several additional proactive efforts that are now underway as the number of Delta variant cases across the state continues to climb sharply.

Booster Battlefield Assessment:
The Booster Battlefield Assessment program will be 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.

Fortifying Supplies and Resources:
The Governor also announced that he has directed West Virginia’s Joint Interagency Task Force (JIATF) on COVID-19 to evaluate PPE supply levels across the state. The JIATF has also been directed to evaluate hospital staffing and bed availability, long-term care facility staffing and preventative measures, and monoclonal antibody treatment levels statewide.

Increasing Briefing Schedule:
The Governor also announced that, in order to continue keeping the public adequately informed about developments in regard to the State’s response to the Delta variant, that he will be increasing the frequency of his COVID-19 news briefings to three per week.
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Gov. Justice announces 6th round of winners in vaccination sweepstakes
Gov. Justice traveled the state on Wednesday to surprise the winners of the three biggest prizes given away in the 6th round of the “Do it or Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” Vaccination Sweepstakes.

Ronceverte resident and former healthcare worker Wanda Coleman’s life was changed forever when she received a surprise visit from the Governor, First Lady, and Babydog, who announced that her name had been drawn as the latest million-dollar prize winner of the sweepstakes.
The Governor and Babydog also surprised Ellen Taylor – a surgical team member at CAMC Memorial Hospital in Charleston – and surprised Michael Quinn from the community of Hacker Valley in Webster County, presenting each of them with a brand-new custom-outfitted truck.
A total of 50 West Virginians were announced as prize winners Wednesday. Additional prizes included two full four-year scholarships to any public institution in the state, five lifetime hunting licenses, five lifetime fishing licenses, five custom hunting rifles, five custom hunting shotguns, and 25 weekend getaways to West Virginia State Parks.

Vaccinated West Virginians only have ONE MORE CHANCE to win in the “Do it for Babydog: Save a life, Change your life” Vaccination Sweepstakes.

Registration will remain open until Monday, August 2, at 11:59 p.m. EDT. The final prize drawing of the vaccination sweepstakes will be next Thursday, August 5.
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Gov. Justice announces West Virginia Sales Tax Holiday Weekend
Gov. Justice announced that West Virginians in need of materials for the upcoming school year will be able to save money this weekend during the state’s back-to-school Sales Tax Holiday. During the holiday, certain back-to-school items are exempt from sales tax, such as clothing, school supplies, school instructional materials, laptops and tablets, and sports equipment.

The Sales Tax Holiday began at midnight on Friday, July 30, and will continue through Monday, Aug. 2, at 11:59 p.m.
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West Virginia named nation’s 10th-best place to do business 
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that Business Facilities magazine, which is a source for corporate site selectors, ranked West Virginia as the 10th-best business climate in the country; marking the first time ever that West Virginia has earned a top-10 spot in the magazine’s business climate rankings.
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Gov. Justice announces new Veterans Assistance Secretary
On Thursday, Gov. Justice announced that he has appointed Edward A. “Ted” Diaz as Cabinet Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance (WVDVA). Born and raised in Huntington, WV, Diaz has spent the past 10 years working at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, most recently serving on the staff of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs at the VA Central Office in Washington, DC. Diaz logged 20 years of active-duty service in the United States Navy before his retirement in 2007.
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US 35 final stretch to include 73,568 tons of asphalt
On the 14.6 mile final section of US 35 through Mason and Putnam Counties, 16.8 million cubic yards of earth have been moved and 73,568 tons of asphalt are being placed to improve safety for travelers as the much-anticipated section of the Roads to Prosperity project nears completion. Work currently taking place on the roadway includes completion of paving, shoulder work, guardrails and signage to keep the public safe on the new road.
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Repairs begin on WV 2 in Mason County
West Virginia Division of Highways begins on the ground repairs this week on a slip which occurred on WV 2 in Mason County near the Jackson County line. One lane of WV 2 will reopen until repairs are complete in approximately four weeks. Heavy rains are believed to have caused the slip, which occurred on July 1.
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WVDNR installs migratory animal tracking system at Hanging Rock
West Virginia Division of Natural Resources biologists have installed a radio telemetry station at the Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory in Monroe County to study the movement of birds, butterflies and other migratory animal species. The station is part of an international animal tracking network, called Motus, which means movement in Latin. The new station will help WVDNR biologists collect and share data that will be used to build a picture of where migratory animals are traveling.
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Participants of Ultimate Adventurer Challenge to be entered to win one year of free lodging at WV State Parks
Summer adventures continue with the West Virginia State Parks Ultimate Adventurer and Junior Adventurer Challenges. These challenges lead adventurers of any experience level on a series of outdoor explorations throughout the State Parks system. To add to the excitement, a giveaway is also available to those who participate in the Ultimate Adventurer Challenge. Anyone who completes the Ultimate Adventurer Challenge can fill out a form at one of six state park gift shops to be entered to win a free year of state park lodging. Only one person will win this giveaway.
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Also this week:

Gov. Justice appoints Cochrane as judge for Twenty-seventh Court Circuit serving Wyoming County

Barriers going up for I-79 widening project

Gov. Justice appoints Stephens as judge for Twenty-fourth Family Court Circuit serving Berkeley and Jefferson counties

WVDEP’s REAP announces more than $84,000 in Litter Control grants

Roads to Prosperity to fix Logan County slip

Deadline Extended for 2021 West Virginia Juried Exhibition

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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