WV Gov. Justice’s Wednesday briefing: push for vaccinations continues, mask mandates aren’t needed, no plans for shutting down large events


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “There’s no getting away from it. It’s all around everywhere and the only way you stand a chance of getting away from it is to be vaccinated,” West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice said during Wednesday’s virtual COVID-19 briefing.

“If you have chosen to be unvaccinated, in my opinion, it was a bad choice. We don’t need mandates, but we need to make a good decision. More and more and more is there a need for you to get vaccinated,” Justice continued before illustrating the large number of unvaccinated people who make up the vast majority of hospitalized COVID patients, as well as those in ICUs.

Hospitals in West Virginia have been getting calls from facilities as far away as North Carolina, looking for beds for COVID patients, Ret. Maj. Gen. Jim Hoyer said. West Virginia hospitals do not have the capacity to accept those patients, Hoyer continued.

Justice spoke out against a need for mask mandates, saying: “You’re basically penalizing some. I’m still not convinced that are going to really help us in a significant way.” However the governor followed that comment by applauding school systems, in the state, that have decided to institute mask mandates, noting that Putnam and Pocahontas counties were the only two without mandates.

The governor also said that he isn’t planning to shut down large events and encouraged the organizers of Bridge Day to hold the event.

The third set of winners in the “Do it for Babydog, Round Two” vaccine sweepstakes will be announced on Thursday.

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