CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice again sounded the alarm during Friday’s virtual COVID-19, reporting that 18 counties are now “red,” with only two green counties left.
The governor urged people with compromised immune systems to wear masks, but said that he does not have enough data to reinstate a statewide mask mandate. Justice said that tiered mask mandates, potentially based on the county alert map, are on the table and that more discussion will happen over the weekend.
12 News asked the governor if he were sending a child, too young to be vaccinated, to school, would he have them wear a mask. In his mind, the decision would be a “toss-up,” he said. You can watch his full answer below:
With more than 4,000 additional vaccinations given since Wednesday, the governor said the state is doing a “half way decent job of getting people vaccinated, but it’s not good enough.” Young people (ages 12–35) are still the area of concern, Justice said.
Do it for Babydog: Round 2
With “Babydog” sitting on a chair next to him, the governor announced a second round of the state’s vaccine sweepstakes.
Prizes will include:
- Five full scholarships per week for those aged 12–25
- A very high-end luxury sports car each week, a Corvette was shown
- Custom ATVs, side-by-sides and zero turn lawnmowers
- $150,000 dream wedding packages
- Free gas for 10 years to two people per week
- Six season ticket packages to WVU and Marshall sporting events
- Five season ski lifts tickets every week
- A custom fishing boat
Registration will begin on Monday, Aug. 23. Even those registered for the first round of the sweepstakes will need to re-register. The first drawing will be held on Aug. 31 and drawings will be held every Tuesday for six weeks.
The program will again be paid for with federal CARES Act funding to the tune of $6 to $8 million, Gov. Justice said. We’ve got the money to do it” It’s kind of shame that we’ve got to do something to incentivize people to get vaccinated to try to save their lives, but we do anything and everything we can to get people across the finish line,” said the governor.
The governor pointed to approximately 180,000 people who got vaccinated in first round as a reason for round two, saying that anyone rooting for the effort to fail is essentially rooting for more people to die.