Governor Justice commends West Virginians for protesting peacefully; announces 3 new cases of COVID-19 at Huttonsville in Monday briefing


CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice held Monday’s COVID-19 briefing at 12:30 p.m.

During Governor Justice’s briefing on Monday afternoon, he commended West Virginians for protesting peacefully across the state, announced new COVID-19 cases at Huttonsville Correctional Center and provided further information on the reopening of the state.

Governor Justice began Monday’s briefing by speaking of the state’s most recent death caused by COVID-19, a 96-year-old resident of Fayette County.

The governor then spoke about the protests that have been going on across the country in response to the death of George Floyd. Justice said that Floyd’s death was inexcusable and that “America today is hurting.”

The governor then commended West Virginians for protesting peacefully across the state and said that West Virginia will be a guiding light to others as an example of how to protest peacefully as it has during the COVID-19 pandemic. Multiple times during the briefing, Justice spoke about how proud he was of West Virginians for expressing their rights in a peaceful manner.

Justice then spoke about Week 6 of West Virginia Strong, the state’s reopening plan. Casinos and movie theaters will be permitted to reopen on Friday, June 5. The Governor stated that further information on the reopening of casinos and movie theaters can be found on his office’s website.

Justice also mentioned that youth low-contact sports can begin practicing on June 8, and can start playing games on June 25.

The governor also provided an update on the COVID-19 outbreak at Huttonsville Correctional Facility in Randolph County. Justice announced that testing has been completed at the facility and all of the results have come back. Justice said that three new inmates have tested positive, making the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the facility 118. The governor also said that 149 inmates were also tested at other facilities in the state, with zero tests coming back positive.

The governor also announced that free testing will continue across the state this week. Free testing will be offered to residents, including those without symptoms at locations in McDowell, Ohio and Harrison counties on June 5 and 6. The testing in Harrison County will take place at the Monticello Playground in Clarksburg on both days from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

During the briefing, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Secretary Bill Crouch announced that Sundale Nursing Home, the first facility to have a death caused by COVID-19 following an outbreak in March, is officially coronavirus-free. The final test returned negative on Saturday.

During Friday’s briefing, Justice announced dates this month that youth and high school sports training and games can resume. He also provided an update on the outbreak at the Huttonsville Correctional Center and issued a warning to residents after more than 700 people showed up to a livestock auction in Jackson County.

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