WV Gov. Justice announces first inmate COVID-19 case, online shopping for EBT users, nursing home testing results


CHARLESTON, W.V.a – During Tuesday’s virtual news briefing, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced that the state has had its first positive COVID-19 test among prison inmates.

A 62-year-old male inmate at the Huttonsville Correctional Center, in Randolph County, tested positive Monday, Justice said. The man is in good condition in medical isolation, according to prison officials. A part-time correctional officer at the facility, also tested positive, but is not believed to be connected to the inmate’s case, according to the governor. The person is a temporary, part-time employee, who supervised three inmates over the weekend. The three inmates have tested negative, officials said. All inmates in the block where the positive was found are being tested, along with all staff at facility, said Justice. If additional positives are found, testing will be expanded to all inmates in the facility, Justice continued. Staff and inmates are required to wear masks, officials said.

The governor also announced that the state has received a shipment of Remdesivir from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, that can be used for critically ill COVID-19 patients.

Justice will be signing an executive order today for the week 4 reopenings, as well as lifting the 14 day quarantine for out-of-state travelers, he said.

WV DHHR officials announced that EBT cardholders through the SNAP and WV Works programs can now use their cards to buy food online from Amazon and select Walmart stores. Purchases can begin being made today at 4:00 p.m. on Amazon. EBT cards cannot be used to pay for shipping, although Amazon offers free shipping on orders above $25. Walmart stores in Elkins and Martinsburg are currently part of the program and additional stores will be added on Thursday, May 21, officials said. Walmart delivery fees cannot be paid for with the EBT cards, a DHHR news release said.

“This is a major step in helping our clients gain access to food with increased protection for social distancing,” said DHHR Cabinet Secretary Bill Crouch. “By enabling online card transactions, West Virginia’s EBT cardholders can now purchase groceries for delivery or pick up with minimal contact.”

DHHR officials also announced the results of the testing at all of the state’s nursing home facilities, that Gov. Justice ordered in April. A total of 22,598 people, at 123 facilities, were tested(8,911 residents and 13,687 staff ), they said. Overall, 0.18% of residents and staff tested positive, breaking done to 0.12% of residents and 0.23% of staff, officials detailed. There were no positives found in 71% of facilities, the results showed. At least one new positive was found in 28 facilities, as a result of the ordered testing, state health officials said. There were outbreaks at eight facilities, with four having more than 20 positive cases, according to officials. Full results, broken down by facility, are available on the DHHR’s online dashboard.

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