CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice began Friday’s virtual COVID-19 briefing by offering a prayer for President Trump and his wife Melania, after they tested positive for coronavirus, calling for everyone to put political differences aside.
The governor then moved on to reviewing the state’s COVID-19 data. Harrison, Taylor and Upshur counties have joined Boone County in “orange” on the state’s color-coded map. Kanawha County has moved from “red” to “orange” and now is “gold.” Justice cited increased testing in Kanawha County for the improvement. After more than 2,000 tests, officials found 85 new cases in county, Justice said.
Gov. Justice again encouraged all West Virginians to get tested. A list of free testing locations around the state can be found here.
After being asked earlier in the week about reports of student athletes and their family members getting multiple tests to help drive up negative test numbers in Kanawha County, Gov. Justice said officials investigated the claims and found 13 multiple tests out of 2,000. The governor will ask WVSAAC officials to come up with a suspension and/or punishment for coaches or athletes who are caught engaging in that kind of behavior, he said. The governor then downplayed the situation, saying, “it is so insignificant that we don’t really need to be wasting a whole lot of time on it.”
A protest planned for Saturday in Morgantown which is “calling all musicians, stagehands, production workers, venue owners, security workers, street teamers, venue staff, and anyone negatively affected by Governor Jim Justice unconstitutional Executive Order 56-20 banning live music in West Virginia,” to march on Milan Puskar Stadium, where a WVU football game will be going on against Baylor. In what appeared to be a preemptory move before the march, Justice said he “doesn’t see why we can’t come up with a way to have live outdoor music,” but asked for a couple more days to finalize something, he said.
Gov. Justice has been encouraging West Virginians to get flu shots. During Friday’s briefing, the governor was given a high dose shot of the flu vaccine, based on his age. After the shot, Justice was given a Spiderman band-aid and a ring pop.
Justice also wished Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams a happy 97th birthday.