CHARLESTON — Governor Jim Justice continued his press briefings for the week via YouTube Wednesday afternoon, providing ongoing updates on the state’s response efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Justice pleaded for counties in need of additional assistance with anything, to ask for it; whether it be testing, processing paperwork or personal protective equipment. “The National Guard is standing ready for whatever you may need to process paperwork in a timely way,” Gov. Justice continued. “Any way we can make things happen in a more efficient manner; we’ll do it. You’ve just got to let us help you. We want to help. We’re standing ready to help anytime,” Justice emphasized.
The governor then bragged on the good job the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services has done this year. He reported that in 2020, the bureau has served 2.4 million meals, 84 percent of them hot, to seniors across the state and added 3,000 new seniors to the feeding programs. They have also added 43 new vehicles for delivering these meals. He thanked all county senior programs across the state who have been serving, especially during the pandemic. “This program is so important. Not only are they delivering food, but they’re delivering hope. They’re delivering a friendly hand, a warm voice and just hope,” Justice said.
Justice then challenged all West Virginians to reach out to the seniors in the community, either by writing to them or calling them, and spread some light to their day during this tough time.
The governor continued his regular announcements by sharing that there are currently 22 outbreaks linked to school systems, with 80 confirmed cases, and 16 active church-related outbreaks. The governor also mentioned outbreaks in 46 long-term care facilities. He continued with updates on correctional facilities throughout the state, including ten active inmate cases and four active staff cases. Justice also continued to remind residents to get their flu shots, as flu season approaches.
Justice reminded those who need assistance paying their delinquent utility bills from March to July 31 to apply for funding from the $25 million allocated by the CARES Act grant. He also reminded local officials to apply and reapply for the CARES Act grant funding before the December 31 deadline, which has already awarded over $164 million to cities and counties in the state. Many counties will offer free COVID-19 mobile testing lanes available over the next two weeks and the governor pleaded for all who can to get tested.
The state’s current statistics, as of Wednesday at 10 a.m. on the coronavirus.wv.gov dashboard are as follows: Different from the School Alert map, the County Alert map shows 29 counties in the “Green,” 12 counties, including Upshur, in the “Yellow,” Jefferson, Marshall, Clay, Lincoln, Boone, Logan and Mercer counties in the “Gold,” with Berkeley, Morgan, Braxton, Wayne and Monroe counties in the “Orange,” and Wyoming and Mingo counties in the “Red.” The WV Cumulative Percent of Tests Positive was at 2.88 percent. The Daily Percentage of Positive Cases jumped to 4.29 percent. The state’s 18,071 recovered cases far exceed the number of active cases, at 4,557. Hospitalization was at 226 patients, but the state’s Fatality Rate still stands just over 1.9 percent, with 436 deaths attributed to COVID-19. West Virginia has now tested over 41.3 percent of its population, leading the nation’s average of over 39.6 percent. West Virginia’s Rt value dropped to 1.03 percent, as tracked at https://rt.live/.