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.
As West Virginia passed 2,000 fatalities due to COVID-19, Gov. Jim Justice honored those who had died since his last news conference on Wednesday. As of the 10 a.m. update from the Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) the death toll was 2,006 West Virginians.
The number of active cases in West Virginia has declined for 13 days in a row. The Rt factor is 0.93 which is 27th best in the Country. The vaccinations are at 101.9-percent. This was explained in an earlier news conference. Some vials received have more than one dose.
All vaccinations are fully completed at nursing homes and long-term care facilities in West Virginia. The number of outbreaks has fallen by 50-percent since the beginning of January.
West Virginians can pre-register for a vaccine online at vaccinate.wv.gov or by calling the hotline. All West Virginians are encouraged to pre-register, even if they are already on a waitlist.
The first week of February will have vaccination clinics in all 55 counties in West Virginia. The Mountain State still leads the nation in getting the population vaccinated. The Governor thanked all of those who participated in the effort to getting this done.
The West Virginia Congressional Delegation sent a letter to the Biden Administration. This included both Senators and all three U.S. Representatives. The aim was to encourage the prioritization of West Virginia in the roll out of vaccines. The letter cited the success of the Mountain State’s distribution efforts.
The Governor addressed rumors about school staff not being able to receive the vaccine. He dispelled those rumors stating teachers and staff may register on vaccinate.wv.gov right now. They will be treated as essential workers. As of 5 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021 all school staff who are 50-years-old and greater who have requested to be vaccinated will be completed.
The latest information shows the rate of transmission in the classroom for students K-8 is very low. It is also well below the transmission rate in the community. The Governor thanked all the educators for everything they do and have done throughout the pandemic.
The Partnership of African American Churches is working with the DHHR to ensure testing and vaccinations are occurring in communities of color. There are four testing teams already in place. They are creating four additional vaccination teams. There is one each in the eastern panhandle and the northern part of the state. There are two in the southern part of West Virginia.
There will be several permanent locations set up as vaccination clinics. Rev. James Patterson said these will be at large facilities like Heart of God ministries in Beckley. Rev. Patterson and Maj. Gen. Hoyer (ret.) stated they are still working on the details on how these will be set up and who will be eligible to attend the clinics.
Anyone who wants to know more about the vaccination, there is a hotline set up to answer questions.
Dr. Clay Marsh addressed the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine. He said its effectiveness is greater than 66-percent. This is a single dose treatment which can be kept at room temperature. This would allow it to be used in more remote areas of West Virginia.
There are now 135,000 people who are registered to be vaccinated in the state’s Everbridge system. That is the name of the pre-registration system. As of 1 p.m. on Friday, the system stated NOT to use the online registration if you are already on a waitlist. The Governor said this would be updated. That was why they focused on telling people to register online even if they are already on a waitlist.