CHARLESTON, W. Va. (WOWK) — Governor Jim Justice began his daily Covid-19 beriefing, announcing that a fourth person in West Virginia has now died from the disease.
“All of us as West Virginians, join Cathy and I and think of them in prayer,” said Gov. Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
The governor went on to say he’s adding the number of people employed at “Workforce West Virginia” offices. He’s also dispatching National Guard troops to help more than 90-thousand people trying to file unemployment claims. There will now be three “Workforce” call centers, working 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, to clear out the backlog.
“We’ve got to get these unemployment claims out and we got to get people that are looking to find a way to pay their utility bills and whatever. We got to get them satisfied and we got to get them taken care of because they got enough on their mind, scared to death about the health of them, or their families,” said Gov. Justice.
On an encouraging note, the state’s positive test rate has dropped slightly – and is still one of the lowest in the nation. Health officials say with continued good hygiene and social distancing West Virginia may not be as bad as first projected, according to a University of Washington study.
“The number of people they project will die in West Virginia has gone down from about 500, to around 150 to 170, as I remember,” said Dr. Clay Marsh, WV Covid-19 Czar.
People are still urged to stay at home, only going out when it’s absolutely necessary.
“The governor has now confirmed that the federal government has declared West Virginia a disaster area, like most other states. That will enable the Mountain State to apply for multiple-millions of dollars in additional federal aid,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Repporter.