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

To start the briefing on Friday, Oct. 30, 2020 Gov. Justice discussed recent reports of a possible vaccine for COVID-19 which could bring hope for those who have the virus. He then read off the list of those who died from the illness since his last briefing on Wednesday. He asked, as always, to not let those who have died become statistics.

The Governor addressed the large number of new positive cases. He stated this is due to increased testing. However the Reproductive Factor (Rt) is now 1.10. That puts the Mountain State at 17th in the country.

There are 44 of 55 counties which are offering free testing. There is a focus on Red and Orange counties on the alert system map. The Governor stated he is now looking at adding Gold counties to that list.

The Governor said there are testing sites which only have a few people show up throughout the available hours. He asked everyone to take personal responsibility for encouraging their neighbors to be tested. The plea was made for people to make this a priority in the same way they led the nation on the U.S. Census.

Dr. Clay Marsh, the WV Coronavirus Czar, re-enforced the Governor’s plea. He stated there were 88,000 people who tested positive in the United States on Thursday. This was the largest number diagnosed in one day since the pandemic began. He provided more specific details on how super-spreaders transmit the virus.

There are now zero cases reported among the inmate populations in West Virginia.

The Governor announced several awards. This included the West Virginia Distinguished Service Medal to the WV National Guard Command Sergeant Major Phillip Cantrell. He has had 32-years of service and is retiring. The Governor also announced the Freedom Awards to emergency management leaders for their actions during the pandemic.