Gov. Justice emphasizes need for more testing during Oct. 12 coronavirus press briefing


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Nine more West Virginians have died from coronavirus since last Friday. Gov. Jim Justice began his Monday press briefing by discussing that development.

The state is now up to 385 total deaths during the pandemic. Six of the nine most recent deaths were in Kanawha County. The youngest people who died were 71-years-old, while the oldest person was 96, Justice said.

“So, what does it tell us? It tells us over, and over and over the same thing. It tells us this killer pandemic attacks the elderly the worst. It tells us that absolutely, in Kanawha County, we still have many issues, as we do have throughout our state.

“It tells us what we’ve said over, and over and over that we are an elderly state. It tells us that we are a state that abounds in chronic, you know, different types of illnesses,” said Justice.

Justice said it is important to keep the virus away from these vulnerable populations, and he explained how that can be accomplished.

“The way we do just that is we identify those that we’ve fou—find that are absolute spreaders, and most of them don’t even know it. Well, how do we find those people? We test. We test, and we test and we test more. And, the more we test, the more we find.”

The daily percent positivity rate is 2.62%, while the cumulative percent positivity is 2.78% for the state. West Virginia’s Rt value is the second best in the country at .92, according to Justice.

Six counties in the state are listed as orange on the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources map, with five of them in north central West Virginia: Doddridge, Harrison, Barbour, Upshur and Randolph.

Many counties in the state are holding coronavirus testing through Oct. 23. This includes Doddridge, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Taylor and Upshur counties. Walgreens and Fruth Pharmacy are also offering free drive-thru testing. This is available in selected counties.

“Go get tested. Please go get tested, and it will absolutely help in every way,” Justice said.

There are currently 14 outbreaks involving churches, according to Justice. These are in 10 counties: Nicholas, Putnam, Mason, Doddridge, Upshur, Logan, Tucker, Harrison, Fayette and Kanawha.

As for prisons and jails, there are currently three cases, including one at North Central Regional Jail.

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