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.
To begin his tri-weekly news conference on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 Gov. Jim Justice addressed an incident on Tuesday were are Charleston Police Officer, Cassie Johnson, who was shot in the line of duty.
Gov. Justice honored the 43 West Virginians who passed away from COVID-19 since his briefing on Monday. He spoke again about how this compares to the 75 from Marshall University who lost their lives 50 years ago. Before reading off the ages and locations he asked if they would be remembered the same way West Virginia remembers those who died in 1970.
The number of cases where people are hospitalized is now a record 622. The Reproductive Factor (Rt) in West Virginia is 1.06. That is 29th best in the country.
The number of COVID-19 cases in WV rose 91-percent since Halloween. Nearly half of the total cases have happened in the last 30-days. That is according to numbers from the National Guard.
The first roll out of the vaccine will be from Pfizer. It is expected to happen on Dec. 14. That is two days later than previously projected. People in the medical profession will be the first to receive the vaccine. It will then be expanded to first responders. The Moderna vaccine is expected to come the next week.
“We are days away from it starting,” said Gov. Justice in reference to the vaccine. “But we are months away from it completing.”
Dr. Clay Marsh stated vaccinations will be done through the Third Quarter of 2021. He said the evidence shows the vaccine is very effective.
For the next few weeks, the Governor asked West Virginians not to go around others. This was in reference to those who are the most vulnerable to the virus.
Gov. Justice spoke briefly about the election, stating the evidence appears to be in favor of Joe Biden as the President-Elect. In reference to the COVID-19 pandemic, he stated Vice President Pence and President Trump should be honored for their efforts.
There is now free in-home COVID-19 testing available from Vault Health. This is a saliva based test. Any cost will be refunded when the test is registered on the Vault Health website.
The test is ordered from the DHHR website coronavirus.wv.gov. You register it on the website and a Vault representative will help walk you through the process. Dr. Clay Marsh said you should not eat, drink, smoke or chew anything 30 minutes before taking the test. This will provide a better sample.
After you send the test, results will be available about 24 hours after they receive the sample.
Maj. Gen. James Hoyer stated the addition of the self test will allow the WV National Guard to redirect their efforts to vaccine distribution.
Anyone who has recovered from COVID-19 is asked to consider donating blood. That anti-bodies from the plasma could save lives. Donations can be made to the Red Cross.
In response to questions to the pubic, State Health Officer Dr. Anye Amjad spoke about people hosting large dinner parties. This is not recommended by the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) at this time. If someone does plan a party, all guidelines should be followed regarding social distancing and wearing of masks. Dr. Amjad said buffet style serving should be avoided.