CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice again began his COVID-19 briefing, on Wednesday, with positive news.
For the 18th straight day active cases in the state have gone down and the number of “red” counties on the state’s map are now down to nine, Justice reported.
Thanks to extra doses in the vials, last week, the state’s vaccination administration rate rose to 108.1%, the governor said.
In terms of vaccinations in long term care facilities, 81% of residents and 61% of staff have been vaccinated. The numbers are better than the national average, but “those numbers still need to come up,” Justice said.
Since the system was launched on January 25, 177,000 people have registered through the state’s online vaccination pre-registration tool, according to Gov. Justice.
While some additional doses are coming, the state still doesn’t have enough shots to go around, Justice said.
State officials are investigating several possible cases of impropriety related to vaccines, they said, but did not elaborate further.
WBOY 12 News will be airing and livestreaming a live town hall, Vaccinate West Virginia with Gov. Justice, retired Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, Dr. Clay Marsh, Dr. Ayne Amjad and DHHR Sec. Bill Crouch from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday evening.
Touching on continuing controversy over the return to in-person learning, the governor quoted the head of the CDC is saying that vaccinations are not a pre-requisite to teachers returning to the classroom.
The governor reiterated his call for a “big” federal stimulus package.
Gov. Justice also commented on the arrest of a Braxton County stepfather, accused in the death of a three-year-old boy. Justice called the situation a “super tragedy” and said “it’s just hard to fathom how somebody can be mean to a kid.” If you suspect a child is being mistreated, Justice urged residents to report it to the DHHR.
Justice also announced that former state Senate President Mitch Carmichael, who was defeated in the 2020 Primary after being targeted by state teachers unions, will be named the state’s Economic Development Director.