CHARLESTON — Governor Jim Justice has continued to provide daily updates to the people of West Virginia, but said he will not hold press conferences over the weekend unless more restrictions become necessary.
During Friday’s press briefing, Justice confirmed a total of seven positive COVID-19 cases in the state. The counties he reported affected were two each in Jefferson and Tucker, and one in each of Monongalia, Mercer and Jackson counties. After the briefing, the WV DHHR confirmed another positive case in Kanawha County Friday afternoon.
In his Thursday afternoon briefing, Justice announced that the state has purchased 100,000 protective N95 surgical masks and said 30,000 of them will go to law enforcement, first responders and correctional staff. The rest of the masks will be distributed by the WV DHHR as needed, according to Justice. The Governor added that he has also secured the purchase of 275 sets of highly protective suits with special filtering for medical staff.
On Friday, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Erica Manni told the public that donating blood is safe and asked those who can give blood, to please do so. She explained there is always a need and with many blood drive cancellations, we could soon face a shortage.
Justice further ordered Thursday that all barber shops, hair and nail salons had to shut down by midnight. Friday, Justice ordered the closure of lodges at all state parks, due to 69 percent of the guests coming from out of state. He added that all the positive tests have been associated with travel. Justice did later clarify that he is not closing down the parks, campsites or cabins, but encouraged people to go outside and enjoy nature. Justice also closed the Hatfield-McCoy Trails Friday, effective at midnight, due to 85 percent of users coming from out of state.
During the briefing, a dining guide map and link displayed on the screen showing where food is available for pick up. You can view this map at https://wvtourism.com/dining-map/.
Justice signed an executive order to suspend several rules and regulations to extend multiple deadlines related to state fees and licenses.
The Governor also said Thursday that he tested negative for COVID-19 after discovering he had been in direct contact with the state’s first positive case last month to award a grant. Justice further assured that WV roads will not be shut down and unemployment benefits can be applied for online at www.workforcewv.org.
Governor Justice continued to assure the viewers to stay smart and not to panic, reminding everyone to wash their hands, try to not touch their face and use West Virginia’s power to try to stay apart.