Gov. Justice and state officials provide an update for media on COVID-19 preparedness and response plans. For more information about COVID-19 prevention and more, call the State’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-887-4304 or visit

Governor Justice began his Friday news briefing going over the fatalities in West Virginia since his Wednesday briefing. He stated he is still concerned about the illness approaching from the south. He anticipates further addressing that on Monday, Aug. 17, 2020.

The R-T factor in West Virginia worsened slightly to the 9th in the nation.

Addressing schools. The rating system will be based on a seven-day rolling cumulative number. Each county will receive a color code of Green, Yellow, Orange or Red. This will be changing daily. The goal is to keep all counties in Green. The number will be based on a population basis, using 100,000 people for a percentage basis. This is so small counties and large counties can be ranked equally.

  • 0-7 is Green
  • 8-15 is Yellow
  • 16-24 is Orange
  • more than 25 is Red

If a county goes Red, school there will be 100-percent virtual. Those counties in Orange and Red at the start of school will be mandated to do virtual school until they drop to Yellow or Green. Those counties which move from Yellow to Orange once school starts will no longer be allowed to have sports competitions. Practices will be allowed.

Private and Christian schools were also addressed. If the county goes Red, those schools will also be closed. If they have sports, they will be following the same guidelines as public schools.

The county’s rolling numbers will be released at 9 p.m. on Saturday night. This will determine how school be held for the following week. Mid-week changes from Yellow to Orange will allow sports to continue for Friday. However if a county goes Red at anytime, school will be changed to virtual immediately and all athletics will be stopped.

Inmates and nursing home residents will be ranked as 1 to ensure those number will not skew the ranking. If school were to start next week, only three counties would be ranked Orange or Red:

  • Logan – Red
  • Mingo – Orange
  • Grant – Orange

The state’s running seven-day average is 2.6-percent on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. This will be where the metrics begin, however the status of the counties will determine what happens at local schools. The dashboard will show color changes daily.

In connection with small businesses, the state is working on a plan to send entrepreneurs who are not employees, $2,000 a week. This will be announced the week of Aug. 17.

More than 60,000 inputs were provided to surveys sent from local counties. County plans were due to the WV Board of Education on Friday, Aug. 14.

Dr. Ayne Amjad stated Mercer County has elected a Health Officer. If a child has COVID-19 at school, they will be taken from the school by their parent. All children in a class where a student was diagnosed would be identified for contact tracing.