Governor Justice - March 18

CHARLESTON — During Friday’s briefing, Gov. Justice reported that, this week, active cases dropped as low as 781; the lowest daily case count since July 4, 2020 – 622 days ago.

“Think about how long ago that is,” Gov. Justice said. “That’s a really meaningful achievement.”

Total active cases have decreased by more than 96% from their latest peak eight weeks ago.

Since nearing peak hospital capacity in early February, COVID-related hospitalizations in West Virginia are down 78%, ICU patients are down 72%, and patients on ventilators are down 73%.

Still, after reading the ages and locations of another 87 individuals who have passed away from COVID-19 since Monday, Gov. Justice continued to urge West Virginians to get vaccinated and boosted.

With yesterday marking the two year anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 being identified in West Virginia, the Governor also aired a video recapping the state’s pandemic response in that time.

Also on Friday, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to announce that, earlier in the day, he hosted a pair of United States cabinet secretaries in West Virginia – U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm and U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Holland – for a meeting at the Governor’s Mansion with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin and many other representatives of the state.

Additionally, the governor announced that he has signed a proclamation, formally declaring next week as Flood Safety and Severe Weather Awareness Week in West Virginia.

A statewide tornado drill will be conducted on Tuesday, Mar. 22, at 11 a.m. The National Weather Service, in partnership with the West Virginia Emergency Management Division, Ready WV, and the West Virginia Broadcasters Association, will issue a test tornado warning message. Across the state, weather alert radios will activate, and television and radio stations will broadcast the alert.

The drill gives all citizens the opportunity to practice tornado safety measures. During the test alert, all West Virginians, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes, educators, community groups, and government agencies are encouraged to participate in the tornado drill and update their emergency plans as needed.