West Virginia Week in Review - May 1, 2021

5/1/2021

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Gov. Justice: West Virginia offering $100 savings bond to residents age 16 to 35 who choose to get vaccinated
On Monday, Gov. Jim Justice announced that as part of his ongoing initiative to get more younger residents vaccinated, West Virginia will begin offering a $100 savings bond to each person from 16 to 35 years old who chooses to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The incentive will be retroactive, meaning all West Virginians age 16 to 35 who have already been vaccinated will also receive a $100 savings bond.

Of the 1.47 million West Virginians who are currently eligible, just 52% have received at least one dose to date. The Governor’s goal is to get more than 70% of West Virginia's eligible population vaccinated. 
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Gov. Justice: Median age of COVID-19 cases decreasing
On Friday, Gov. Justice continued his push to get younger West Virginians vaccinated, reiterating that the State is offering a $100 savings bond to all residents ages 16-35 who choose to get vaccinated, and announcing that the median age of West Virginians testing positive for COVID-19 has now dropped at 34 years old.

“When it recently came down to 44 years of age, we thought, ‘Uh oh. We’ve got a problem. We need to get our young people vaccinated,’” Gov. Justice said. “But now we’re down to 34, and that means we've got a ton of young people that are testing positive.”
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Free vaccination clinics to be held at all West Virginia State Parks and State Forests between now and Memorial Day
On Friday, Gov. Justice announced that free COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be held at all West Virginia State Parks and State Forests between now and Memorial Day. On Memorial Day weekend, all West Virginia State Parks and Forests will offer vaccines to employees, employees’ families, and park guests. Clinics will be set up at central park locations outdoors.
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Gov. Justice: Vaccinations available at state basketball tournament
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that COVID-19 vaccinations would be made available to anyone age 16 or older attending the West Virginia girls and boys state basketball tournaments at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center. This clinic is being administered by the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
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Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia has resumed administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced that West Virginia has resumed administration of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in West Virginia and nationwide was paused two weeks ago upon the recommendation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) out of an abundance of caution.

Following a thorough safety review, including two meetings of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, the FDA and the CDC have determined that the recommended pause regarding the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine should be lifted and use of the vaccine should resume.
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Gov. Justice unveils new State Historical Highway Marker book
On Friday, Gov. Justice joined West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History Curator Randall Reid-Smith to unveil a new book for West Virginia travelers – “Signs of the Times: West Virginia’s Highway Historical Marker Program.” The book features descriptions of each of the state’s historical markers located along highways and byways. A historical marker book for West Virginia was first published in 2002, but hasn’t been updated in almost 20 years.
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Gov. Justice presents certificate of recognition for longtime DOH employee
On Friday, Gov. Justice presented an official Certificate of Recognition on behalf of Kermit Ray Kirkpatrick, a career-long employee of the West Virginia Division of Highways.

“Kermit has been a wonderful employee for his entire career. He had to retire due to an illness and, unfortunately, he is really fighting that illness,” Gov. Justice said.
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First Lady Cathy Justice invites students to participate in a Renaming West Virginia Essay Contest
First Lady Cathy Justice is inviting West Virginia students to participate in a Renaming West Virginia Essay Contest in honor of West Virginia Day. All 8th-grade students who are public, private, or home-schooled in West Virginia are urged to participate in this Student Artist Series.
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Gov. Justice awards over $2.1 million in Child Advocacy Center grant awards for 2021
Gov. Justice announced Thursday that he has awarded $2,118,674.00 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. Gov. Justice's 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.
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Babydog joins Gov. Justice for Kentucky Derby predictions
In a moment of levity at the end of Friday’s COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Justice was again joined by his canine companion, Babydog. Wearing her best fascinator hat, Babydog revealed to all West Virginians her prediction that Essential Quality will win the 2021 Kentucky Derby, followed closely by Highly Motivated. Through her translator, Jim Justice, Babydog added that she also likes Hot Rod Charlie as a potential long-shot derby winner.
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Gov. Justice appoints Kenneth Ballard as judge for Thirteenth Judicial Circuit serving Kanawha County
On Monday, Gov. Justice announced the appointment of Kenneth Ballard, of Charleston, WV, to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, which serves Kanawha County. Ballard is set to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of the Honorable Tod J. Kaufman.
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Wellsburg Bridge in place, project moving toward fall 2022 completion
Now that the 830-foot main span of the Wellsburg Bridge has been floated down the Ohio River and lifted onto its pilings, much work remains before the bridge will open to the public. With the main span in place, construction crews must still complete a retaining wall and backfill on the West Virginia side of the bridge, finish pier work on the West Virginia side, complete the approach span on the Ohio side of the bridge, and tie both ends of the span into existing roadways. Concrete for the main span of the bridge also must still be poured.
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The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program reminds drivers: Share the Road with Motorcycles
Starting in spring as temperatures begin to warm, motorcyclists are traveling West Virginia’s winding country roads and scenic highways. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and traffic safety officials with the West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) are partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind motorists to Share the Road with Motorcycles.
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Extended spring gobbler season open until May 23
West Virginia’s spring gobbler season is underway and turkey hunters have even more opportunities to bag a bird this year. The regular spring gobbler season is open through May 23. All hunters 15 and older must purchase a West Virginia hunting license and follow the state’s turkey hunting regulations, bag limits and game check requirements.
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Also this week:

Gov. Justice signs Executive Order 13-21, providing that vaccinated staff at nursing homes and assisted living facilities are no longer required to be tested twice a week, but that unvaccinated staff must continue to be tested

Gov. Justice signs proclamation limiting price restrictions imposed by West Virginia Code §46A-6J-1 et seq. that are in effect as a result of the state of emergency declaration issued on March 16, 2020

In accordance with White House directive, Gov. Justice orders all U.S. and State flags to return to full-staff

HHOMA calling for West Virginia artists to apply for performance spots in this year’s virtual Juneteenth celebration

Department of Arts, Culture and History Accepting Entries for Annual Juried Quilt Exhibition Until May 3

Legionella Detected at Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital

Spring 2021 Issue of GOLDENSEAL Magazine Now Available
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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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