CHARLESTON, W.Va. – During his COVID-19 briefing Friday, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice gave an update on the state’s color-coded map.
Monongalia County is now listed as “yellow” on the state map. Mon County has been “red” or “orange” since the maps were first released.
State officials announced that the West Virginia Department of Education has begun listing schools that have COVID-19 outbreaks in them, on its website. An outbreak is defined as two cases that are linked within a 14 day time period, officials said. Currently eight schools are on the list: Maysville Elementary in Grant County; Dunbar Primary and Mary Ingles Elementary in Kanawha County; Sherrard Middle in Marshall County; North Elementary in Monongalia County; George Washington Elementary and West Teays Valley Elementary in Putnam County; and Daniels Elementary in Raleigh County, according to the site.
The state has added an additional 15 testing teams through the West Virginia National Guard, to help with testing at schools, nursing homes, correctional facilities, etc., Justice announced. The addition of the new teams more than doubles the number teams the state was previously using, the governor said.
Justice encouraged all West Virginians to take advantage of free COVID-19 testing that is taking place around the state. A list of those testing opportunities can be found here. The governor also encouraged residents to get flu shots.
Gov. Justice thanked Salem Volunteer Fire Chief Rick Todd for his service to the state and asked for prayers for his family, after Todd died from complications of COVID-19 earlier this week.
When asked for his reaction to a letter sent to him by Del. Danielle Walker(D-Monongalia) earlier this week, detailing encounters she had with who she called white supremacists in Preston County, Gov. Justice said that he had a West Virginia state trooper sent to talk with her. Justice also asked representatives from the West Virginia Human Rights Commission to reach out to Walker, he said. “We don’t need to tolerate at any level, any level of hate and hatred and hate speech, and everything, to go on anywhere at anytime,” Justice said.
If a high school golf team that qualified for the state tournament, is in an “orange” county, they will be allowed to participate if players and coaches get tested before the tournament, Justice said.
West Virginia now has the highest return rate, in the country, on the 2020 U.S. Census, ahead of Idaho, Justice said.