CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Governor Jim Justice began his daily Coronavirus briefing by noting West Virginia’s first death from the disease, an 88-year old woman from Marion County.
“Cathy and I have had all kinds of prayers, especially a prayer for all the loved ones of this person who passed away,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
Despite that first death, West Virginia is fairing better than most places. For example, between 30 and 50% of people in New York state who are tested, turn up positive for COVID-19. The national average is 8-10%. In West Virginia, it’s only 4%.
“That’s a direct reflection on the commitment of each one of the citizens of our state, that are making a personal commitment to doing things to protect them, protect their families, and protect their communities,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, WV Coronavirus Czar.
The governor has now ordered that campgrounds in all state parks be closed, in addition to the lodges he ordered closed last week. He says he’s getting a lot of reports of an influx of cars into West Virginia, with out-of-state license plates, especially from hard-hit states. The governor says if those people don’t self-quarantine, they can be charged.
“As I understand it if the state police goes to them, and says you have to quarantine yourself for 14 days and they refuse to do so, then they are basically obstructing,” Justice said.
The Governor now says his staff is weighing the possibility of delaying the state primary election scheduled for May 12th, or making it all mail-in ballots only.
“We’re considering all options at this time, and we’ll let you know soon,” Justice said.
“While West Virginia is seeing a steady increase of Covid 19 cases, its still ranks among the bottom 10 states in the nation, in the number of overall cases,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.