CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “We have got to be super, super cautious as we enter the fall,” West Virginia Governor Jim Justice warned at the beginning of his COVID-19 briefing on Friday, after noting the latest coronavirus deaths, now 422, in the state.
With cooler temperatures on the way, forcing more people indoors, the next six to 12 weeks may get worse, West Virginia coronavirus “czar” Dr. Clay Marsh furthered warned.
With the majority of the deaths continuing to be older residents, Justice and state health officials again urged the state’s elderly population to be cautious, particularly with things like church.
There is one “red” county(Wyoming) and seven “orange” counties(Berkeley, Boone, Braxton, Doddridge, Mingo, Monroe and Wayne) on Friday’s edition of the state’s color-coded map.
There are 21 outbreaks in schools around the state, for a total of 72 cases. “This is just an absolute fraction; we’re really, really happy that the number is this low,” Justice said.
When asked what can be done about West Virginians refusing to wear masks, Justice said: “We don’t need to be a bunch of Barney Fife’s, but if there’s any reason to complain about America and where we are today, it is as simple as this, it doesn’t matter if it’s right and wrong anymore, all that matters is what we can get by with. We gotta get back to right and wrong.”
Dr. Marsh followed up by saying residents’ power is to: Get tested, answer contact tracing calls, wear masks, physically distance, be careful about being around big crowds and being indoors around people who aren’t wearing masks. If everyone did these things, it would be equivalent to having a vaccine right now, Marsh continued. “Masks = vaccine,” Justice summed it up.