WV aims to more than double daily tests

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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.

Out of respect for those who passed away due to COVID-19, Gov. Justice read off the list of those who died. This is how he begins each news briefing. The list included many elderly people.

“Do you not feel we are letting these people down,” the Governor stated.

He asked all West Virginians to help these people who are among the elderly and the most vulnerable to the virus. The Rt factor dropped to 1.22 which is good. West Virginia is no longer the worst in the country. There are two other states which are now worse.

West Virginia received $23 million from the CARES Act to support 3,400 families in paying for child daycare. The federal program was set to end on Sept. 30. The state is providing $6 million to continue the program through the end of the year.

Dr. Clay Marsh stated they are aiming to get 7,000 to 8,000 tests done per day. On Tuesday there were more than 3,000 tests. The greater number of tests provides a second path for counties to improve their situation on the County Alert System.

The two methods are by the infection rate, which is what the system began with. The other is the positive rate which compares number of tests to positive results. The state will use which ever number is better when determining the color for the alert system.

WVU provided a secure and monitored setting for students who are identified with COVID-19. They believe this prevents them from spreading the illness to the community.

Less than 1-percent of students and colleges across West Virginia tested positive for COVID-19. That is from the Higher Education Policy Commission (HEPC). The HEPC is recommending all those students who test positive and are in a facility which is secure and monitored be counted as a single case as they are in a congregate setting. This is similar to what is being done in regards to nursing home residents.

The change is not in place as of Wednesday afternoon. State leaders expect to have it in place by Thursday, Sept. 17. This will depend on the data received by health officials.

Free testing is happening Kanawha County on Wednesday. There is also testing coming to Nicholas and Monroe Counties.

A second inmate has died at Mount Olive Correctional Center. Further details on that were not released. There are still 24 inmates who are positive. There are 10 staff members at the prison who have the virus.

West Virginia is now tied with Idaho for the highest number of responses to the 2020 Census.

Kanawha County went to the Red range on Wednesday. This is being attributed to community spread.

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