Gov. Justice and state officials provide an update for media on COVID-19 response efforts. West Virginians age 16 and older can pre-register to be vaccinated by visiting Vaccinate.wv.gov or calling the WV Vaccine Info Line at 1-833-734-0965.
Governor Justice opened his press briefing by discussing the impact losing a loved one cant take on a family. “Please keep all these West Virginians and their families in your prayers,” Gov. Justice said. With 12 additional deaths reported this morning, the total number of deaths have reached 2,248.
Gov. Justice continued to go over the DHHR’s COVID-19 dashboard. There are 129,055 total cases in WV. Active cases have continued to drop and are currently down to 9,624. Recoveries across the Mountain State are steadily rising, shooting up to 117,183.
“We have got to be smart, we have got to be cautious,” Gov. Justice said. When it comes to coronavirus restrictions across WV, Governor Justice lifted said restrictions. He announced an executive order increasing the capacity businesses in West Virginia. Restaurants and bars can increase their seating capacity from 50 to 75 percent. Bars must also have seating for every customer as no standing room will be allowed. Included in changes to restrictions is the ability to now have social gatherings of 75 people. Small retail businesses and grocery stores are now able to double the amount of customers per 1,000 square feet.
Governor Justice continued to ease limitations by announcing live music can now happen in doors as long as social distancing and other existing guidelines can be followed. Governor Justice said he would be reaching out to the State Board of Education to ensure that once all teachers and service personnel over the age of 65 become fully vaccinated, he would request all students in grades K-8 would go back to in-person learning full-time. Regarding winter sports, Governor Justice says he will talk with the SSAC about creating specific occupancy limits for all events.
Outbreaks continue throughout West Virginia with long-term care facilities experiencing 21 outbreaks among their facilities. Correctional centers are seeing 11 cases in staff members, with 21 inmates cases. There is only one outbreak among West Virginia churches, which comes from Fayette County.
“We got to get you tested,” Justice said as he urged residents to be tested when symptoms are felt. Governor Justice urged the importance of donating blood if you are fortunate enough to have recovered from COVID-19. Gov. Justice relayed the continuation of wearing masks in all indoor facilities until further notice.