Justice announces tweaks to school plan

CHARLESTON — Governor Jim Justice resumed his daily press briefings for the week via YouTube Monday, providing continual updates on the state’s response efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Justice first announced a couple tweaks to the back-to-school seven-day rolling average metric he explained in detail on Friday.

On Friday, Justice said that each correctional facility and nursing home outbreak will count as one person in the ratio of per 100,000 residents, and each staff member will count for half the number there is. Justice changed the metric on Monday to count each staff member at a nursing home or correctional facility as one individual, since they are still members of the community going out and about when they are not at work.

The second change was a minor tweak in the color coding. He then explained that the counties will now mostly follow the Harvard model when it comes to the seven-day rolling average, or the number of positives per 100,000 residents. Instead of 0-7 on the previously announced scale, or 0-1 on the Harvard model, he is designating Green as 0-3. Yellow will be 3-9, Orange with 10-24 and Red will be 25 or more positive cases per 100,000 people.

During his repeated announcements, the governor reported that Logan is the only county currently in the Red as far as the seven-day rolling average, with 243 active cases. There are now three church-related outbreaks in three counties: Wood, Cabell and Taylor.

The governor reminded small business owners about applying for the CARES Act Small Business Funding, as $9.5 million has been disbursed. He reminded cities and counties to apply and reapply for the CARES Act grant funding, as almost $80 million have been disbursed. He reminded the residents of Lincoln, Hancock, Boone and Webster counties about the free COVID-19 mobile testing lanes available for the next week. He mentioned once again the 696 sites on the Summer Feeding Program map, and also asked everyone to take part in the 2020 United States Census.

The state’s current statistics, as of Monday at 10 a.m.: The WV Cumulative Percent of Tests Positive was at 2.39 percent. The Daily Percentage of Positive Cases dropped to 1.18 percent. The state’s 6,531 recovered cases far exceed the number of active cases, which currently stands at 1,941. West Virginia has now tested 19.377 percent of the state’s population, or 360,000 residents, once again leading the nation’s average of 19.375 percent. The state’s Fatality Rate currently stands at just under 1.9 percent. Justice reported that the Rt value is 0.96 percent, the 13th best in the nation, explaining that it has continued to decrease ever since he made it mandatory to wear masks in public buildings. All of these statistics and more can be found on the dashboard at coronavirus.wv.gov.



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