CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice began his virtual COVID-19 news briefing, Friday, by talking about the deaths of three West Virginians. Two of the deaths were COVID-19 related, the governor said: a 73-year-old woman from Jackson County and a 54-year-old Lewis County man, who was employed at William R. Sharpe Hospital in Weston. Justice also talked about a non-Covid-19 death; a 46-year-old man from Barbour County, who worked in emergency management.
Justice also gave an update on the situation in the state’s Eastern Panhandle, where he sent the National Guard Thursday, after a spike in positive cases. The governor said that state and local health officials have concluded that “things are okay” in that area. The spike was largely attributed to recent large-scale testing in the area, Justice and officials explained. The governor said he is not going to require that residents wear masks at this time, but “highly encourages” people to wear them in public as much as possible.
Next week state officials will hold a virtual call with all county health officials who can participate, to help state officials gain more knowledge about what kind of guidance to residents, Justice said.
Gov. Justice said that a new set of guidelines, released Thursday, on how federal stimulus funds can be spent, will be beneficial to West Virginia.
Justice again decried the role politics plays in the pandemic, calling out both people who complain that too many precautions are being taken and those who’ve said that not enough care is being taken. You can watch the governor’s full comments below:
The governor encouraged people to wear life jackets while participating in water sports over the Memorial Day weekend.