Gov. Justice discusses state of high school sports during coronavirus press briefing on Veterans Day


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice listed of a number of new coronavirus deaths during his press briefing held on Veterans Day.

“Since Monday, we’ve lost another 23 West Virginians,” said Justice.

Among those deaths are two people in their 40s, Justice lamented.

“We have a 41-year-old male and a 47-year-old male that we’ve lost, as well. So, this killer is with us.”

The total now stands at 553 deaths. In north central West Virginia, there was a death in Preston County. The state has also reported 885 new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, the highest one-day total since the pandemic began.

As for the rate of positive tests, the daily positivity rate is 5.90%, while the cumulative percent positivity stands at 3.11%, according to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

When asked about whether or not he would close down the state to any extent, such as travel restrictions or the closure of bars and restaurants, the governor said “everything’s on the table.”

“You gotta understand, the big spike in numbers is driven by the fact that we tested 11,000 people,” said Justice. “We’re not testing, you know, 3,000, like we were. We’re testing 10,000. And, when we’re testing 10,000, we’re gonna find people that have this, this dreaded disease.

“We’re continuing in every way to look at each and every thing, you know, as far as the possibility of…shutting something down, or whatever it may be.”

High school sports is an ongoing topic of interest, as the state volleyball tournament and the football playoffs are looming.

“If we can’t be in school, the last thing on earth we need to be occupied with is a ball game,” said Justice. “It makes no sense to anybody for us to not be in school, but yet be out trying to play a ball game.

“We could go test all these kids, which I would, I would, you know, be all for. And, then, we could…say the kids are good to go. But, right behind that, then there’s another element, you know, and that is, what, you know, what if we show up at the games, and somebody from the county that’s completely asymptomatic, you know, they come in and then they infect more people? There are so many ramifications.”

Justice added that there is a dilemma with the option of postponing the start of the state volleyball tournament.

“Teams that have qualified, as of today, teams that are in school, as of today, are in our state tournament. Now, what if a team that was orange now, that is ineligible right now, what if that team, if what we did is we tested that team, and they were OK to go, and, or, we moved the date, and let’s just say we moved the date, and another team that was eligible today became orange at that time? What do we do? What do we do?

“We could go back, and we could forfeit both teams. You know, we could forfeit one or the other. But, that team, as of right this minute, is eligible to play. You know, it is a dilemma beyond belief.”

The state continues to offer free coronavirus testing. It is being offered in most north central West Virginia counties over the next 10 days.

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