CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice criticized the reporting of coronavirus cases during his Wednesday afternoon press briefing.
Justice focused on the lack of updates in the number of active cases, which may appear higher than they actually are. He admonished local officials and stated the importance of them getting updates to state officials.
“I depend on people, and I really depend on their accuracy because, see, I’m really hung up on the right numbers,” said Justice. “You know, if I tell you it’s a seven today, I want you to be able to come back and come back day after tomorrow, and come back in three weeks, and it be a seven. And, I am hung up on that.
“We have every reason to believe that numbers that I have been reporting to you the last few days are maybe inaccurate. Now, they’re inaccurate to the good side for us, but that doesn’t matter to me,” Justice continued. “And, what I mean by that, we really believe now that I’ve been reporting to you that we have more active cases than we really have.
“It’s their job to tell me the right number, and the perfect example that I can tell you is just this, is at Huttonsville,” Justice added. “If I overstate the number of actives, then I’m scaring you. I’m scaring you when I don’t need to scare you, and I don’t, that’s not gonna cut it with me.”
Justice also reported on the deaths of three more residents from coronavirus, a 73-year-old man from Mineral County, an 88-year-old woman from Lewis County and a 66-year-old woman from Clay County. That increases the state total to 92.
There have been new cases of coronavirus reported after livestock auctions in Upshur County. The Upshur-Buckhannon Health Department is reporting five cases related to the stockyard. However, Justice stated on Wednesday that there were 10 cases among attendees at two different auctions.
The issue of coronavirus cases related to trips to Myrtle Beach came up again on Wednesday. Justice said there are 19 outbreaks in 11 counties related to the popular vacation spot. According to Justice, there are 13 in Berkeley County; five in Cabell County; one in Fayette County; two in Greenbrier County; eight in Kanawha County; one in Mercer County; two in Putnam County; 32 in Preston County, with the possibility of 10 more; six in Raleigh County; one in Ritchie County; and one in Taylor County.
“I strongly, strongly would tell you that if you’re thinking of going to Myrtle Beach, rethink what you’re doing and everything. And, the other thing is if you have been, go get tested. It’s really important that you do that,” said Justice.
Free coronavirus testing is coming up in Randolph County on June 26 and 27. On June 26, testing will be held 8:30 a.m.–3 p.m. at Davis Medical Center in Elkins; testing June 27 will run 8 a.m.–noon at Valley Health Care in Mill Creek.