CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Gov. Jim Justice began his Friday coronavirus press briefing by discussing three new deaths from the disease, putting the state at 100 during the pandemic.
“I hate more than you’ll ever know to look at the number 100 and think that we’ve lost 100 people in West Virginia,” said Justice.
There are 125 new cases of coronavirus, Justice said, with a daily positive percentage of 4.89%. There are currently 1,450 active cases in the state, an increase of 79 since Wednesday.
Monongalia County has the highest number of active cases, with 390.
Justice touched on active church outbreaks in Boone, Kanawha, Raleigh and Taylor counties.
“We have got to urge those that are going to church, and everything, to please, please keep a pew’s distance in between. Absolutely wear a mask while you’re there,” said Justice. “Church is a place where we sing. Church is a place where we’re together in a confined area for at least an hour.
“You’re confined in an area for an hour. You’re singing. You’re projecting your voice, and everything. Please wear a mask,” Justice continued.
The Grafton-Taylor County Health Department said a reported outbreak at a church is incorrect. According to the health department, there has been an outbreak in a group of people who attend the same church, but it is not related to a gathering at the church.
The health department said there was a Bible study/prayer group held prior to the outbreak.
In looking over various coronavirus statistics, the governor said he is optimistic that the numbers will start to improve in the coming days.
“I believe this with all in me. I believe if we can make it another 10 days or so, maybe 14 days—it could be even longer than that—but 10 or 14 days, and everything, I’m very, very hopeful that we’re gonna start to see these numbers start to get a little bit better,” said Justice.
Free coronavirus testing continues to be offered in different parts of the state. A site will be running in Monongalia County on Saturday, with testing 8 a.m.–3 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum.
Justice concluded his opening remarks by commending residents and imploring them to continue in the response against coronavirus.
“West Virginia, you have been the miracle. You, West Virginia have done it, and I could never, no matter what anybody ever says, don’t let anybody take away your effort,” said Justice. “I know it’s been inconvenient, and I know it’s been tough. It’s been economically tough. It’s been tough on the kids. It’s been tough on tough on tough. But, West Virginia, you’ve done it. And, I’m proud of you.”