CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice gave an update on COVID-19 at approximately 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 19.
US Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and Congressman Alex Mooney (R-WV) joined the governor and state officials for the briefing.
Justice discussed an array of topics, highlighting some positive numbers including a decrease in the state’s daily, active cases and a decreasing unemployment rate that is now under the national average of 10.2 percent.
“We’re moving in the right way,” said Justice, who announced bars in Monongalia County would reopen on August 31 with pending regulations and possible limitations to come.
“I hate it like crazy, I know this is your business, I know it’s part of your life and everything, but at the same time, we got a situation where we have to try in every way to protect everyone in that county and throughout West Virginia,” said Justice.
As universities across the nation re-open to in-class learning, several schools have gone back to virtual learning after a spike in positive cases emerged on campus, such as Notre Dame and Michigan State University.
A majority of the new cases have been linked to off-campus events, partying and Greek life.
West Virginia COVID-19 Czar, Dr. Clay Marsh said, “It really becomes incummbent upon the universities to hold the students accountable and to try to do the kind of things that reduce the risk of having students congregate in big unprotected areas like parties without masks.”
Both Capito and Mooney commented on the growing concern of mail-in voting and USPS.
“I have faith and I’m sorry that we got this controversy with the post office quite frankly, but I think we’re on the way to smoothing it out and hopefully regain the faith that our ballots will get there on time, safely and be counted on the proper manner,” said Capito.
On Monday, Justice went to detail about the adjustments of the color-coded system for reopening schools.
The map is based on a seven-day rolling average. The color-coding for will be as follows:
- Green: 0-3 cases per 100,000 population
- Yellow: 3-9 cases per 100,000 population
- Orange: 10-24 cases per 100,000 population
- Red: more than 25 cases per 100,000 population
As of Monday, Boone, Mingo, Lincoln and Taylor counties were coded orange, while Logan County remained in the red due to the county’s then 243 active cases.