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.
Gov. Jim Justice began his briefing by once again asking people to remember those who passed away due to COVID-19. This included a 35-year-old woman in Fayette County and earlier in the week a grandmother who had adopted her five grandchildren.
The Governor said the best thing he had to report is the R-T factor is now at 0.89. This makes West Virginia the sixth best in the nation.
The School Alert System will now be called the County Alert System. The Governor stated it was tweaked to accommodate smaller counties. Those counties with less than 16,000 residents will be rated on a 14-day rolling cycle. Those with more than 16,000 residents will remain on a 7-day-rolling cycle.
Mercer County is now in the Orange range which Fayette and McDowell Counties are now Green. West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Sec. Bill Crouch stated this is because it will be used in more ways. This includes visitations at nursing homes.
- Red – No Visitation or Communal Dining
- Orange – No Visitation
- Yellow – Visitation Allowed
The West Virginia Department of Education will post the color coding on Saturdays. This will apply for the coming week. There was also a change to the mask requirements for students. This is based on the color coding for counties. Here is a look at how it will be regulated:
The Kids Connect Initiative installation is proceeding well according to State Superintendent Clayton Burch. The National Guard is adding all the state armories to the program. That means there will be 20 additional sites. There is also a school reentry hotline established to answer any questions West Virginians may have or get people to the correct place to find those answers.
There are now 30 outbreaks in long-term care centers. This includes the newest outbreak in Monroe County at the Springfield Skilled Nursing Center. DHHR Sec. Bill Crouch addressed the outbreak. The health officer of neighboring Greenbrier County is working with Monroe County to run to the fire and provide assistance.
There will be free testing in Monroe County on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020.
Maj. Gen. James Hoyer advised West Virginians about a contact tracing scam. People should be on guard when receiving calls. The DHHR will not ask for credit card information. Here is a look at five things you should know:
West Virginia is now the second in the nation for the most responses to the 2020 census. Gov. Justice said in 2010 WV had 74-percent of people respond. As of Friday, Aug. 21, 2020 the state is reporting 84.5-percent of people responded. The governor shared his pride in that number and hoped West Virginia would reach greater than 90-percent by the deadline on Sept. 30, 2020.