Gov. Jim Justice discusses schools, testing and remembering 9/11 in Friday COVID-19 briefing

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice discussed schools, testing, and remembering 9/11 in his Friday afternoon COVID-19 press briefing.

Gov. Justice started his Friday afternoon briefing by detailing the latest DHHR COVID-19 information and stated that there were 157 new cases and six additional deaths in the latest report.

Latest COVID-19 statistics, per the West Virginia DHHR.

He explained that those who have lost their lives to the virus and those who are older and continuing to try to fight against it are depending on West Virginians to follow the guidelines that are put in place.

“More than anything, I ask you to just step back and say, ‘we’re all letting one another, to some degree down.'”

Gov. Jim Justice

Governor Justice added that the reproduction rate for the virus is that every one person that is positive, they are infecting one and a half times that number of people.

“The rate basically being the highest in the county, is surely alarming and there’s many other things from the standpoint of counties passing on into the orange and counties remaining in the orange. So what do we do?”

Governor justice emphasized that people in the state need to understand the seriousness of the virus and to follow all the guidelines.

“To just tell it like it is, we’ve got to get afraid again. We have gotten complacent and the numbers are getting worse and getting worse.”

The latest school codes per the West Virginia Department of Education.

Governor Justice stated that starting Saturday, any county that becomes orange or continues to be orange, schools will default to its virtual learning plans. He also explained that there would be additional guidelines for schools released later in the day and in tomorrow morning’s color-coding map.

“If you go in the orange, we can’t go to school. If you’re in the orange, you continue in the orange, we can’t go to school. That’s all there is to it.”

He added that the decision comes by wanting to protect students, teachers, and service personnel from unnecessary danger.

Governor Justice also announced additional free COVID-19 testing in his briefing for Cabell, Mercer, Putnam, Raleigh, Wayne, and Monongalia counties. He emphasized that testing in the state is vital to helping learn about how the virus is spreading throughout the state.

“Do you realize, the more we test, the more the numbers will go down. Now we’re not just going to go out and test so that we can get our numbers down, that’s ridiculous.”

Gov. Jim Justice

He said that the state is currently seeing a large uptick in the number of positive cases in the 10-29 age groups and urged everyone in the state to take advantage of the free testing. He emphasized that this will allow officials to understand how the virus is spreading through the state.

Governor Justice then transitioned his briefing to remember lives lost in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. He honored the lives of West Virginians that died in the 9/11 attacks.

“We lost slightly less than 3,000 people. Today in the United States of America, in our country, we are approaching losing 200,000 people in this pandemic. We all know the seriousness that we took with 9/11, and we should’ve and we should carry that with us forever, but this pandemic is absolutely multiple times, multiple times that. We have got in West Virginia, top really buck down right now. ”

Governor Justice proclaimed that Saturday, September 12, 2020, will be declared as heroes day, to honor all first responders of 9/11 and those who continue to risk their lives to save others today.

More information about the updates that were addressed in the briefing can be viewed on the Governor’s website.

The full briefing can be viewed below:

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