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 Coronavirus.wv.gov.
Governor Justice opened his press briefing by saying that the only bullet in the gun that he has is that he is not in favor of a statewide shutdown, He continued to plead with all West Virginians to continue wearing masks.
He went on to list the West Virginians that have been lost to COVID-19. There have been 28 deaths since Monday, putting the total number of deaths at 695 deaths. “We should all give thanks to the great wisdom that these West Virginians have given us.” Gov. Justice said while urging to not let these residents become just a number.
There are 510 hospitalizations across the state with 144 in intensive care units. The Governor went on the say that West Virginia, like the rest of the country is “not immune.”
Governor Justice relayed that he does not want to be like South Dakota, using the state as an example of what not to do.
Justice returned to the necessity of mask wearing, “I don’t have any other bullets in the gun.” said Gov. Justice. “We are not trying to take away anyones rights, but please help me out.”
The Governor says he understands the importance of in-person learning within the school system while noting that right now that may not be possible. There are currently 24 outbreaks with 106 cases in among public schools across the Mountain State.
There are 22 outbreaks within churches across 16 counties in WV. Governor Justice provided an update on Stevens Correctional Center in McDowell County. There are 8 inmate cases with 5 staff cases at the center.
Justice revealed the hopeful release of COVID-19 vaccines from beginning to mid December. He says that both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will have to be taken in two shots. The shots will be multiple weeks apart. Governor Justice stands by the vaccine saying, “The very second I can, I will take the vaccine as well as my family.”
Governor Justice closed his time by announcing three big events to happen for the state. “West Virginia is the diamond in the rough that people have missed for so long,” Gov. Justice said.
Governor Justice announced the international partnership between West Virginia and a Wales based manufacturing company. Blue Rock Manufacturing is establishing a new facility that will create nearly 1,000 new jobs on both ends of state. The Welsh company will manufacture in the northern region of the state, while taking coal from the southern part of WV.
He also announced that WVU Medicine completed the first dual-organ transplant at Ruby Memorial Hospital. Both a new heart and kidney were successfully transplanted. The operation lasted nine and a half hours and included nine doctors. “We are incredibly blessed to have such amazing medical professionals right here in West Virginia.” says Gov. Justice.
The third and final event for WV was the announcement by U.S. Air Force officials that the 130th Airlift Wing, located at McLaughlin Air National Guard Base in Charleston, has been selected as a preferred alternative to convert to the C-130J-30 Super Hercules.
Before handing his time to the COVID-19 panel, he wished all West Virginians a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.