Gov. Justice announces schools in orange colored counties to return to in-person instruction

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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. Justice opened his press briefing by reading off the 40 additional West Virginians to be lost over the weekend due to the coronavirus. The total number of deaths across the Mountain State have reached 1,594.

Gov. Justice went on to read off the statistics from the DHHR’s COVID-19 Dashboard. There are 29,257 active cases currently in the Mountain State. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 71,431 West Virginians to recover from the virus. The daily percent positive sits at 8.77 percent. The cumulative percent positive continues to rise, reaching 5.38 percent.

In a vaccination update, Gov. Justice played an interview from CNBC asking him about how West Virginia continues to lead the country in vaccination rates. “We don’t just have vaccines sitting on shelves, we have vaccines in arms or tagged to a name,” Governor Justice said. According to the DHHR’s Dashboard, of the 109,440 doses received by WV, a total of 92,070 vaccine doses have been administered. So far, 13,469 WV residents have received both required doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. The DHHR has released a new Vaccine Summary tab on their COVID-19 Dashboard.

The newly organized COVID-19 Information Line will serve as a point of reference for West Virginians seeking information regarding anything that has to do with the pandemic.

Gov. Justice urged residents to get tested when testing sites are made available. There will be 12 statewide vaccination events throughout this week. Governor Justice and the WV National Guard will release updates when they become available.

Governor Justice announced the signing of an executive order allowing schools to return to in person learning if their county is in the orange on the DHHR’s Count Alert System. There are currently 53 of 55 counties colored either ed or orange on the map.

Regarding sports, Gov. Justice announced schools in orange colored counties will begin winter sports practices on Feb. 14, 2021. With 14 practices being required before playing a game, competition is scheduled to begin March 3, 2021.

According to Gov. Justice, the Mountain State is experiencing outbreaks in several different avenues. Churches are seeing 14 outbreaks across nine counties. McDowell County and Summers County are included in these. Corrections is dealing with 404 cases among inmates in WV, with 290 cases coming from Tygart Valley Correctional Center. There are 111 outbreaks throughout long-term healthcare facilities.

Before closing his press briefing, Governor Justice pleaded with West Virginians to continue wearing masks and donate blood if you have beaten the virus. “If you have been blessed with recovery, you can give blood that will save a life,” Justice said.

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