CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — It was another day of COVID-19 numbers trending in a good direction in West Virginia. Of people age 12 and older, 62% have had at least one dose of vaccine. For people 65 and older, 85% have had at least one dose. The state’s active cases hover just above 2,500, a drop of nearly 600 in the past week. So, the Governor says it’s time to reopen the state on Sunday.
“It will be the day that we end the mask. It’s Father’s Day. It’s our state’s birthday, on Sunday, June the 20th. We’re going to have an incredible celebration. There’s a lot of it that will be somber. And then we’ll probably bring in Babydog,” said Gov. Jim Justice.
Babydog is the Governor’s pet English Bulldog, and she is the face of the state’s “Do it for Babydog” vaccination campaign and lottery. 246,000 people have already signed up for the prize drawings that bear her name.
“One person’s going to go away a millionaire,” said Gov. Jim Justice.
The fun activities aside, public health officials are still concerned about the slowdown in vaccinations. 38% of eligible Mountain State residents have still not taken any vaccine. And even though mask mandates are being lifted, you’re advised to keep them on hand and use common sense, especially of traveling:
“Anyone who is in a very large crowded area, say you’re in New York City, or you’re under a subway, or you’re traveling on airplanes. You know they’re recommending to wear masks in large, crowded spaces,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, WV Public Health Officer.
The events on Sunday will be held on the steps in front of the State Capitol.
The state is also ending the bonus program for people ages 12 through 36. You can still qualify for a $100 dollar savings bond or gift card, but you must get your first shot and register on the Governor’s website, before Sunday.