CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The governor says the key to getting rid of the masks is to get more people vaccinated.
It is widely expected this week that the federal government will lower the age of people who can get vaccinated from 16 to 12. Right now, 55 percent of people 16 and older in West Virginia have received at least their first shot of vaccine.
“I think that we can get to 65 percent. That’s only ten percent. We’re close and everything. And I know that we’ll be plenty close by June 20th when we get rid of the masks, so just help me. Help me get there,” said Governor Jim Justice, (R) West Virginia.
Aside from more vaccinations, there is a renewed effort to reach people with mental health and substance abuse issues during COVID-19. Quick Response Teams or QRTs, have been interviewing people who survive overdoses, to find out how much stress from the pandemic, has weighed on them.
“Why do people use drugs? Loneliness? The inability to cope? Having nowhere to turn?’ said Secretary Bill Crouch, Department of Health & Human Resources.
“We’re working with our behavioral health unit as well as comprehensive care clinics across the state. So we are addressing that heavily,” said Dr. Ayne Amjad, West Virginia Public Health Officer.
West Virginia now has more than 12-hundred variant cases of COVID-19.
“To get more people vaccinated, West Virginia is going to be holding vaccination clinics at 10 popular state parks from now until Memorial Day. Then on all of Memorial Day weekend, all state parks and clinics will be holding clinics,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.