CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice began Wednesday’s virtual COVID-19 briefing speaking about the eight most recent COVID-19-related deaths in the state, which has brought the state’s death total to 369.
The Governor then spoke about the nurse employed at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, who was confirmed earlier on Wednesday to be the first nurse in the state to die of COVID-19. Gov Justice also confirmed the death of another nurse in the state, who worked at the Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital in Huntington.
Gov. Justice then took a look at the COVID-19 data across the state, emphasizing that no counties were currently “red” on the state’s color-coded map. Additionally, Justice said that Upshur County is the only county in the state that is “orange.” The governor then encouraged Upshur County residents to go and get tested, as additional free testing is being provided in the county
The Governor then went into detail about the various COVID-19 outbreaks going on at schools, long-term care facilities, churches and correctional facilities across West Virginia.
Justice said that there are currently 18 outbreaks across the West Virginia Public School System, with 50 individual confirmed cases. Justice then said there were 41 outbreaks in long-term care facilities and 18 church outbreaks across nine different counties in the state.
Governor Justice then urged West Virginias to get flu shots before he praised Kanawha County for moving from “red” on the map all the way down to “yellow” in recent weeks.
After being asked if he had plans to re-open the bars in Monongalia County, and what guidelines would be implemented to keep them open and limit the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Justice said he will provide additional information on bars in county on Friday.
Justice was then asked about keeping schools safe across the state, after a member of the media said many schools across the state are failing to keep children six feet apart in classrooms and enforcing/mandating mask wearing.
To hear the Governor’s entire response on this subject, watch the video below.
Justice responded by saying “Our freedoms in this country lead us, in some ways, to be more difficult to instruct. We go our own ways and that has made America great in so many ways.” Justice said that people who are not wearing masks and not social distancing are a “snapshot of what America sees all the time.”
The Governor said that Americans’ freedoms have made the US the ‘Engine that runs the entire Earth’ after saying that these freedoms, such as people who do not social distance or wear masks, may also be the cause of the more than 200,000 COVID-19 deaths in the country.