CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia may see its first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by mid-December.
The announcement came from Gov. Jim Justice during his briefing earlier today.
Among the first to receive it will be emergency workers and health care providers who are most exposed to people that get the virus. But the very first to be vaccinated will be the elderly in assisted care facilities.
“We will begin an initial focus in nursing home facilities as we know that 44 percent to almost 50 percent, at times during this pandemic, that our fatalities have come from those facilities,” Maj. Gen. James Hoyer, West Virginia National Guard, said
In the past day, there have been 967 new cases of coronavirus. 13 more people have died, bringing that total to 695. As of now, there are more than 14-thousand active COVID-19 cases in West Virginia.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s staff is dolling out money that remains from the federal CARES Act. It is filling the coffers at WorkForce West Virginia to pay for unemployment and it is reimbursing cities and counties for testing and other emergency services. That’s because any money not used by December 31st must be sent back to Washington.
“Well the cities and counties really need to get after it. Because we’re going to leave money laying on the table. That’s exactly the opposite really, of what needs to happen,” Justice said.
The Governor says all invoices for reimbursement should be submitted to his office by December 15th.
The Governor had set aside 225 million CARES act dollars for cities and counties. So far 191 million has been spent, meaning 34 million is still available.