WV Gov. Justice says state needs to ‘turn the tide’ in COVID-19 nursing home deaths


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice again began his virtual COVID-19 briefing, on Wednesday, by listing the most recent 11 coronavirus deaths, taking the total to 190.

Gov. Justice said the state needs to “turn the tide” when it comes to COVID-19 deaths in the state’s elderly population in nursing homes. “It’s just plain no good to be sitting here talking about the loss of 11 West Virginians,” Justice said.

There are 39 outbreaks in nursing homes in West Virginia, with the largest outbreaks in Grant, Kanawha(2), Logan, Mercer, Monroe, Raleigh and Taylor counties, Justice said.

In terms of the state’s color-coded map, Kanawha County moved from “yellow” to “orange”, while Logan County dropped from “red” to “orange” and Monroe County remained in “orange,” Justice said.

Gov. Justice asked West Virginians to “please think really hard about going to Myrtle Beach” and if they do go to “please come back and quarantine and get tested.

The governor again attributed improvements to state COVID-19 metrics to his July 7 mandatory mask order, as illustrated by the chart below:

Justice also addressed what he called a “big misunderstanding about our marching bands.” On Monday, the WVSSAC announced that marching bands would not be allowed to perform at high school football games this fall. After a public outcry, Justice announced on Tuesday that he had reversed the decision. “They work just as hard as the hardest working athletes on our football and basketball teams,” Justice said about the band members.

Anyone who is classified as a “member of the band,” including dance team members and/or majorettes will also be allowed to perform, the governor said. Cheerleaders were already going to be allowed to participate, according to the governor. Parents and family members of cheerleaders, band members, dance team members, etc., will be able to go the games as well, Justice said.

Gov. Justice again talked about the state’s response rate to the 2020 U.S. Census. West Virginia remains second in the nation behind Idaho. Justice expressed concern that Washington is closing in on West Virginia.

West Virginians need to be prepared for rain associated with Hurricane Laura, Justice said. The West Virginia National Guard is monitoring the forecast and preparing for any issues that might arise.

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