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.
The Governor began the Wednesday briefing by honoring those who have passed away from COVID-19. There were 12 since his last briefing on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. As always he asked West Virginians to remember the families of those who passed away. All of the deaths were people in their 70s and 80, with the exception of two who were in their 50s.
He went over the numbers. This included a recent drop in active cases. The Governor attributed this to paperwork processed in Kanawha County which showed a large number of people who recovered from the virus. He offered help from the state if any county is having difficulties with getting the documentation completed.
Discussing the color coded County Alert System map, the Governor said we need to be proud of the actions which led to the creation of the system. He admonished the critics of the system.
The state is now in the process of working to increase the testing and the number of tests being processed. The Reproduction Factor (Rt) is now 1.03. That is down from where it was on Monday. West Virginia is now fifth best in the nation.
Dr. Clay Marsh stated while this number seems good by comparison to other states, the number is still above one, which means the virus is still spreading. The goal is to get the number below one.
The Governor pleaded with residents of counties in Red and Orange to get tested. Free testing is focused in those counties. There is also free testing at Walgreens and Fruth Pharmacies.
Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh and Wyoming Counties all have outbreaks at churches. West Virginia has experienced its third death in the corrections system.
There is $25 million in CARES Act funding to help people who have delinquent utility bills. This is for West Virginians who got behind between March 1 and July 31. The Governor said anyone who has not received notification and is having difficulty applying for the help should contact the Governor’s Office.
He encouraged all West Virginians to reach out to seniors this week. This would be by calling our sending a card, letter or email. The goal is to show they are loved and cared about.
The Governor, Dr. Marsh and Maj. Gen. James Hoyer asked everyone to double down on wearing masks and social distancing. Dr. Marsh has previously stated these actions are the equivalent to having a vaccine now.
The Governor stated there is no place for people to feel shame about have contracted COVID-19. He stressed the President of the United States was diagnosed with the virus and that shows the virus is everywhere.