Coronavirus Updates

Justice: More COVID-19 testing needed in red and orange counties

West Virginia

Clinical care providers take swabs for coronavirus on a patient during drive-thru testing by the Fayette County Health Department in Oak Hill, W.V. on Thursday, March 19, 2020. (Chris Jackson/The Register-Herald via AP)

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice is directing the West Virginia National Guard, West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and local health officials to significantly ramp up testing for COVID-19 in red and orange counties.

“Additional testing significantly will help your numbers,” Justice said “I encourage all kids, as well as adults, to go get tested. It is a nothing test. It is absolutely nothing, and so from the standpoint of being able to do it and being able to do it quickly and get out, go get tested, especially if you are in an orange or red county.”

The governor says while health officials are already working to test in these counties, to prevent further spread of the virus, testing needs to be significantly increased when counties move into red and orange as more testing will help health officials identify asymptomatic cases in people who may not feel sick and help prevent them from possibly unknowingly spreading the virus.

“It will identify some situations where we have a person that is absolutely aysmptomatic, in other words, they do not have a clue in the world they have this disease, but they’ve got it and they’re walking around spreading it to others, and they [the contacts] are spreading it to others, and we can’t get your county in the green or yellow becuase there are problems out there with community spread that keep causing us that issue,” Justice said.

More testing will also help lower the counties’ positivity rates, according to the governor, because as more people are tested, the percentage of those that return positive could go down. The state’s overall daily positivity rate is 2.03% as of 10 a.m., Monday, Sept. 21.

As of 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 21, the WV DHHR County Alert System reports Mingo and Putnam counties in red. Monongalia, Kanawha, Logan, Boone, and Fayette counties are orange.

Cabell, Wayne, Lincoln, Wyoming, Summers, Nicholas and Pocahontas counties are in the gold. 22 counties are listed as yellow, and 19 counties are green.

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